Recently, my mother quit soda cold turkey. This may sound like no big deal, but to those who know her, it was the biggest of deals. What made her finally give up the bottle for good was a neighbor with car trouble. When he borrowed a can of her beloved Coke to clean the his corroded battery cables, she had an epiphany: Anything strong enough to eat through that gunk cannot be good for the human body.
She’s right, of course. Most of us know that soda isn’t good for us or our children. But do you have any idea just how bad it really is? Ashely M. Jones, of Pharmacy Technician Certification, does. On her blog, she’s written what she calls “10 Seriously Disturbing Facts About Soda.” Amazing battery-cleaning powers did not make the list, but here’s what did:
- Bad Bones -Along with seniors, women and smokers, those who regularly drink soda are at higher risk of developing osteoporosis, a debilitating disease involving the thinning of bone tissue and loss of bone density.
- Kidney Stones – It goes down so easy, but it doesn’t always come out that way. At least one study has found that phosphate-based drinks may contribute to kidney stones in males.
- It’s Addictive – All that caffeine, artificial sweetener and sodium can be a hard habit to break. Just ask my mom.
- It’s Expensive -Lots of people are finally convinced to quit smoking cigarettes when they realize how money they are spending feeding their habit. Consider this: A family of soda drinkers who purchase 2 twelve-packs a week will spend about $400 each year.
- Rotten Teeth – In addition to the damage all that sugar can do to your teeth, the phosphoric acid in soda can erode tooth enamel. The Academy of General Dentistry compares the levels of acid found in sodas to that found in batteries!
- Mountain Dew Syndrome – When a beverage gets its own syndrome, you know there’s a problem. Just ask all those Mountain Dew lovers in Central Appalachia, American’s top spot for tooth decay.
- Phosphorus Overload – The recommended daily intake of phosphorus is 800 mg. The average U.S. intake is about 1500 to 1600 mg per day. Find the stats on your favorite drink at Bellybytes.
- Secret Ingredients – A study by Hollins University found that 48% of sodas from fast food fountains contain coliform bacteria. This comes from fecal matter. Enough said.
- Does it Cause Cancer? — Possibly. Although there is more work to be done here, a recent study found that drinking just two soft drinks a week doubled the risk of getting pancreatic cancer. The beverage industry responded by saying the study was weak.
- Seeing is Believing – For those who need a visual, here’s a video from Science on the Brain that shows just how much sugar a can of soda contains. Hint: it’s a lot and it’s kind of gross.
Image: DA Creative Photography/Flickr
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