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Soda Dangers

Posted on 03/7/2012

Let me start by saying I do not believe in regular or diet soda...period! I never have and never will. I was out there for many years all alone saying they are not good for you. Proof is now in the science that is backing up my beliefs. I am thrilled!

Diet soda dangers seem to increase with each passing day. A new study is published citing how harmful the stuff is to one's health. No longer thought of as an innocent drink that many would thoughtlessly gulp down every day in the name of their thirst. No, it is now really being looked at as a danger to one's health. It is now being examined and studied. I must admit, I am thrilled by the new interest in a topic that has long been a personal issue of mine. I like to hear about the new studies and how quickly the news media are picking up on it. It seems the subject getting its 15 minutes of fame, and rightfully so. I hope it holds out for an extra few minutes, it is that important. It truly is a public health issue that is impacting the lives of millions.

So, what's so harmful with the bubbly stuff with zero or low calories you've drank for years? Plenty! Listen up diet soda drinkers, the science is here to tell you to put that can down, back away from it and do not pick up another can the rest of your lives. Dramatic? You bet. Did I get your attention? Good, I hope so!

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), a U.S. watchdog group, just announced yesterday that several popular brands of brown-colored soda contain high levels of a chemical linked to cancer in animals. This is nothing new, since caramel coloring has long been associated with certain types of cancers in animals. And, it doesn't stop at soda, caramel coloring is in other foods and drinks. The CSPI has asked the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ban the caramel-coloring agents found in sodas that contain the chemical 4-methylimidazole. Last year the group made an unsuccessful bid to the FDA, however this year the FDA has agreed to review the claims but say soda is safe to consume. If you ask me, this is just one more reason as to why soda should not be consumed. 

So many studies have been conducted, yet consumers are still being exposed, marketed to and sold this sweet stuff every day. I'm all for free choice and free market, but what about providing consumers with all the information to make an informed decision as a consumer? What about warning labels on these items citing the dangers, like with tobacco products? Extreme, you bet, but would it help put an end to some diseases that are now so commonplace that they are verging on an epidemic? Perhaps, and that's why I advocate for change as it relates to soda. I doubt it will happen due to the money spent on marketing, lobbying and public relations efforts for the beverage industry. 

Don't think dangers are only with regular, brown-colored soda either. Studies have shown dangers in clear and colored sodas, regular and diet formulas. Artificial coloring, phosphoric acid, potassium benzoate and citric acid in soda can put a toxic load on your liver and in intestines. Potassium benzoate is a known cancer-causing agent and limits of it are set on our drinking water but not with soda? Phosphoric acid causes tooth enamel erosion, even with minimal exposure, and is as damaging to teeth as battery acid. Inexpensive and widely available, phosphoric acid is also used in fertilizers and detergents, including industrial cleaners. Even "food grade" thermal phosphoric acid is known to sometimes contain arsenic.

No soda in my opinion should be put in the human body. Remember, your health, not any material possession, is your greatest asset in life!

I'll continue this discussion next week, more about soda...

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A half-way update on the Seattle Sutton's 2012 Slim Down Contest...in 8 weeks (2 months), the 10 contestants have lost a total of 339 pounds! Way to go people! You are proving it to yourselves each day you can reach your goal. Continue how you are doing and you will be satisfied with the outcome come April 28th at the final weigh in. Also, here's to Bob H. for getting his blood pressure down to 110/70...terrific job Bob!

post-author

Seattle Sutton, BSN, RN

She made healthy eating her mission in life long before anyone else did, in hopes of helping her own obese father. A registered nurse by training and entrepreneur at heart, she lives, eats and breathes everything about healthy eating and helping to improve people’s eating habits and overall health. She enjoys never having to bother with grocery shopping, cooking and counting calories. Her favorite SSHE meal, although it’s hard to pick just one, is the Potato Gnocchi with Basil Pesto Sauce.

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