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It can often seem harmless to drink a bottle of Coke.
But the negative effects of soda might be too great to ignore. So how bad is soda for your health?
That question is answered well in this graphic by the Consumer Media Network:
AsthmaConsumer Media Network first tackles the problem of Asthma. Sodium benzoate, an ingredient commonly found in sodas, us used as a preservative in foods. Sodium preservatives add sodium to the diet and reduce the availability of potassium. Some reported reactions include recurring rash, asthma and eczema. Each day, 11 Americans die from Asthma, and the annual cost of asthma to the healthcare system is estimated to be nearly $18 Billion.
Dissolves Tooth EnamelSoft drinks contain sugar and acid, (not the same as fruit sugar), which is a nasty, two-punch combination that dissolves tooth enamel. Many dentist chairs have been filled with patients whose soda-drinking mouths contain multiple cavities and tooth decay.
Heart DiseaseFor years, many people associated weight gain and diabetes with soft drinks and haven’t paid any attention to the other consequences of increased sugar consumption. Heart disease can be a devastating symptom from drinking too many sugary drinks. Most soft drinks (especially in the United States) contain high fructose corn syrup, a sweetener that's recently come under considerable scrutiny. High fructose corn syrup has been associated with an increased risk of metabolic syndrome, a condition associated with an elevated risk of both diabetes and heart disease.
Kidney ProblemsColas contain high levels of phosphoric acid, which has been linked to kidney stones and other renal problems. Phosphoric acid is also one of the causes of reduced calcium in the bones.
Reproductive IssuesSoft drink cans are coated with a resin that contains BPA. This is the same cancer causing chemical found in plastic baby bottles, water bottles, and plastic containers that wreaks havoc on the endocrine system, potentially causing premature puberty and reproductive abnormalities.
Sugar OverloadTwenty minutes after drinking a soda, your blood sugar spikes, causing an insulin burst. Your liver responds to this by turning any sugar into fat. Forty minutes later, caffeine absorption is complete. Your pupils dilate, your blood pressure rises; as a response, your liver dumps more sugar into your bloodstream. The adenosine receptors in your brain are now blocked, preventing drowsiness. Forty-five minutes later, your body ups your dopamine production, stimulating the pleasure centers of your brain. By the way, this is physically the same way heroin works.
OsteoporosisSoft drinks contain phosphoric acid. A high phosphate diet has been associated with bone breakdown and an increased risk of osteoporosis. When phosphorus is excreted in the urine, it takes calcium with it, depriving the bones and the rest of the body of this important mineral.
ObesityThe relationship between soft drink consumption and body weight is so strong that researchers calculate that for each additional soda consumed, the risk of obesity increases 1.6 times.
Increased Risk of DiabetesThose who drink more soda have an 80% increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Approximately 1 in 10 health care dollars is spent on diabetes.
Does this mean drinking artificially sweetened drinks is any better? No way! Read the article on Sugar, Sugar Substitutes and Healthier Alternatives.
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