Nutrition Articles

Soda Drinkers Beware!

Nutrition News Flash

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Studies now correlate an increase in certain health risks with soda consumption. For four years researchers tracked the soda drinking habits of 50,000 women. When women went from drinking one regular soda drink a week to at least one a day, they gained an average of 10 pounds over the 4-year period. An increase in body weight was also seen when using fruit drinks, but not when diet soft drinks where consumed. In another study of 90,000 women, those who drank soda or fruit drinks daily had about twice the risk of developing diabetes compared to those who drank soda less than once a month.

Currently, the federal government is considering its first-ever warning that soft drinks can cause unhealthy weight gain. While soda sales have nearly doubled during the past 20 years, so has the percentage of obesity. Battle lines are being drawn and the debate is heating up.
  • Should a warning be issued concerning weight gain and soda consumption?
  • Should there be a ban on soda commercials during children’s television programs?
  • Should soda be eliminated at school? Currently the sale of soda helps fund many school activities.
Action Sparked
There is strong evidence linking the consumption of soda and fruit drinks to obesity. An occasional soft drink presents no problem, but one or more a day could be disastrous to your diet plan.
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About The Author

Becky Hand Becky Hand
Becky is a registered and licensed dietitian with almost 20 years of experience. A certified health coach through the Cooper Institute with a master's degree in health education, she makes nutrition principles practical, easy-to-apply and fun. See all of Becky's articles.

Member Comments

  • I gave up drinking soda 3 weeks ago as I was drinking A LOT. 3 kilograms gone in 3 weeks just from dropping it from my diet! - 9/9/2014 9:38:43 PM
  • The most painless way to manage calories is to restrict your beverages to water and unsweetened tea or coffee and an occasional glass of wine.

    Soda, with sugar or artificial sweeteners, is simply not good for you. I used to drink Diet Pepsi but the aspartame gave me dizzy spells. Now I try to eat and drink what nature makes, not "food" made in labs. I do not miss soda of any kind. - 7/20/2014 5:14:09 PM
  • DOUGBROWN
    This one is a bit much for me to not leave a comment on. I've reworked the article with a few questions:

    "Studies now correlate an increase in certain health risks with soda consumption. For four years researchers tracked the soda drinking habits of 50,000 women. When women went from drinking one regular soda drink a week to at least one a day, they gained an average of 10 pounds over the 4-year period."

    Did the researchers look at any other factors that could contribute to the weight gain? Were the women required to maintain their current lifestyle and start drinking a soda per day? Why did they make the change?

    "An increase in body weight was also seen when using fruit drinks, but not when diet soft drinks where consumed."

    So basically an increase in calories resulted in an increase in weight? Seems logical.

    "In another study of 90,000 women, those who drank soda or fruit drinks daily had about twice the risk of developing diabetes compared to those who drank soda less than once a month."

    Different study -- if you consume more sugar than other people, you're more likely to develop diabetes. If you look at nothing but soda or fruit juice intake, then you can only draw conclusions about soda and fruit juice intake.

    "Currently, the federal government is considering its first-ever warning that soft drinks can cause unhealthy weight gain. While soda sales have nearly doubled during the past 20 years, so has the percentage of obesity. Battle lines are being drawn and the debate is heating up.

    Should a warning be issued concerning weight gain and soda consumption?
    Should there be a ban on soda commercials during childrenís television programs?
    Should soda be eliminated at school? Currently the sale of soda helps fund many school activities."

    For the last 2 months, I've tracked all my food intake and exercise. Because of this, I've lost about 15 pounds. During that period, I drank about one soda per day (12 ounces). I can go back and tell you what else I've had that causes obesity and diabetes: ice cream,... - 7/15/2014 3:41:14 PM
  • I found the caveat about supplementing school funding using pop that children purchase interesting. I'm against the banning of items; it does not solve the problem. Why can't we properly fund children's education and extracurricular activities without placing the burden on the backs (and thighs and stomachs) of children who purchase pop? It would free up educators to be creative in the way that they offer healthier alternatives to children instead of being a slave to the money raised from selling tons of sugar to kids. - 7/15/2014 9:45:58 AM
  • Its all a part of the bigger picture. People get overweight/obese when they consume too may foods that contain sugar or are metabolized into glucose. When this happens the body stores fat. Its pretty plain and simple. - 7/15/2014 8:08:33 AM
  • This article would have been more helpful if it clearly distinguished between findings regarding sugary sodas and diet sodas. - 6/20/2014 8:12:22 AM
  • KIMSTIRLING
    I stopped drinking soda pop, in April 1998 and replaced it with drinking water, out of a 64oz mug, that may seem like much, but it' better then all those sugary drinks. - 3/15/2014 8:39:55 PM
  • I generally drink 2 12oz Pepsi cans a day and haven't gained any weight in all the years I've drank it. If I could get out on my own and live and eat the way I want I probably would cut it back but I work with what I have for now. I agree it's not a very healthy drink, but the government shouldn't get to have a say in what a person chooses to put into their own bodies as long as it does nobody else any harm.

    Regarding the person's comment about schools not having the vending machines and "lunch being enough", that's not the case for everybody. Before I was homeschooled I couldn't eat school lunches due to deadly food allergies and there wasn't exactly much I could easily bring from home. Not to mention not everybody just lives right there around the school. I had almost a 90 minute trip one way from school to home. When you don't hardly get to each lunch that's a long wait for dinner. I always would grab a drink for on the way home because it was the one safe thing I could have to hold me over, even if it's not meant to be very filling or healthy. I get what your saying, but schools and the government can't tell people what they should and shouldn't eat/drink. - 12/2/2013 1:57:27 AM
  • I don't drink soda. The only thing I drink is water. - 11/27/2013 7:40:07 PM
  • MAUREEN_ABA
    Neither obesity or diabetes are uniquely caused by the consumption of one specific food, drink, or ingredient. Both are very complex issues that are influenced by many risk factors (including age, genetics, and physical inactivity). Trying to pin the blame on one specific product ignores science and is counterproductive
    . We donít need government oversight, control, or influence over what we eat and drink. If we really want to get serious about these issues, we need to focus on education, not regulation.

    -Maureen Beach, American Beverage Association - 6/3/2013 2:28:16 PM
  • Really? Soft drinks are The problem? Not over-consumption. When I was a kid, soft drinks destroyed your teeth, now they're making you fat. Guess what? I don't drink soft drinks; my teeth are very healthy; and I'm obese. Soft drinks, my eye!

    My husband doesn't have diabetes, and he, too, groans in his sleep. I think it's just a different way of snoring. To be safe, make sure he mentions it at his next checkup. - 3/13/2013 12:20:48 AM
  • BJOHNSON03
    HI I feel so much Better , Now that i am soda free .. - 2/12/2013 9:37:27 AM
  • my husband has been diabetic sense he was 30 he is now 41 and starting to control his diabetic issues. He didn't care before, but now he does and he's having pain in his hips Some times I hear him moan during the night. I'm not sure if it's related to him being diabetic, I was wondering if anyone had any ideas if it was. Please help I'm scared. - 1/21/2013 9:04:06 AM
  • 3 years ago my 9 year old son made a New Years resolution to not dring soda for 1 year. I told him I would do it with him and we are now soda free for 3 years. I feel great. It was hard to break the addiction, but I did not want to disappoint my son. I'm so glad we did it together. - 1/8/2013 12:38:07 PM
  • Everything in moderation. While I am not sure what the exact culprit is, I think that the portion size is the biggest key, followed closely by the inactivity of the person. Get up, get moving, but don't eat a TON of food, especially unhealthy foods. - 10/11/2012 10:36:14 AM

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