Tag Archives: soft drinks

Sugary Drinks Linked to Higher Blood Pressure

If you’re someone who indulges in the regular, or even occasional, soda or sugary fruit drink you’ll want to read this. While soda has already been linked to bone loss and is incredibly high in sugar, new research suggests that sugary drinks may also be associated with higher blood pressure levels in adults.

According to research in Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart Association, scientists found that for every extra sugar-sweetened beverage consumed in a day,  study participants on average had significantly higher systolic blood pressure by 1.6 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) and diastolic blood pressure by 0.8 mm Hg. This rise in blood pressure remained statistically significant even after adjusting for differences in body mass, researchers said. They also found that those drinking more than one serving per day consumed more calories than those who didn’t — an average of more than 397 calories per day.

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Group Calls for FDA Ban on Soda Caramel

It’s not been a very good week for the soda industry. First, we told you about the potential link between diet soda and heart and stroke risks, now a consumer advocacy group is urging the Food and Drug Administration to ban some chemically-enhanced caramel food colorings used in soda, as they say it can cause cancer.

While the group still thinks that the threat of obesity related to drinking soda is a bigger health threat, they are petitioning the FDA to ban the caramels in question. While pure caramel is made from melted sugar, but two types used in food coloring have ammonia in them which produce compounds shown to cause various cancers in animal studies done by the National Institutes of Health. (more…)

The Connection Between Soda and Bone Loss

Attention all Diet Coke and Diet Dr. Pepper lovers: Soda has been linked to osteoporosis, a condition that is marked by bone loss and puts you at risk for fractures, splints and breaks.

We all know by now that the sugar in soda is linked to a host of health conditions, from obesity to dental cavities. Now soda is earning demerits for its association with degrading the skeletal system.

The problem though is not with all sodas, but with the colas. So drinks like Sprite, 7-Up and Mountain Dew don’t appear to have the same bone-weakening effect as dark sodas do.

Researchers at Tufts University found that women who regularly drank cola-based sodas (three or more a day) had almost four percent lower bone mineral density in the hip, even when calcium and vitamin D intake were accounted for.

So what exactly is in dark sodas that is putting your bones at risk?

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Dr. Pepper Removes High Fructose Corn Syrup Temporarily

Celebrating 125 years of being one of the most unique and popular sodas around, Dr. Pepper is getting rid of its high fructose corn syrup. For now. It’s a temporary move to swap out the ingredient for real sugar, the ingredient formerly used by most soda manufacturers. The nostalgic-tasting soda will be available beginning July 4th weekend through September.

This move comes on the heels of other soda manufacturers doing retro versions of their beverages, like Pepsi Throwback.

What are the health implications? The real sugar is more ideal, as the sugar cane is broken down into what is basically pure sugar. Whereas the high fructose corn syrup that is traditionally used is becoming a health concern for its link as a culprit in the obesity epidemic. The beloved ingredient of the processed food industry is used because the processed sweetener is cheap to produce and extends the shelf life of the foods it is in. (more…)

5 Reasons to Can Soda

Soda is the single biggest contributor to an unhealthy diet, and it is one of the highest calorie sources in the world, accounting for somewhere between 11 and 19 percent of all the calories consumed worldwide.

It’s cheap, addictive, and readily available; found at virtually every picnic, shopping mall, and sporting event you might attend. Often advertised as containing extra vitamins and billed as a “healthy choice,” it can be difficult to quit a soda habit. Especially as the weather warms up, and people are out and about, soda is almost always present.

Here are five reasons that you should rethink your beverage choice.

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Pepsi Drops Sugary Drinks from Schools

Maybe the Mayans were onto something with the whole end-of-the-world thing in 2012 after all. Pepsi just announced this week that they plan on pulling all of their fully-sweetened drinks from schools in the U.S., and in more than 200 countries total, by 2012.

In its fight against childhood obesity, The World Heart Federation has been negotiating in recent months with soft drink makers to get them to remove sugary beverages from schools.

Coca-Cola, the number one soft drink maker in the world, has also made some positive moves. This month they changed their global sales policy to not sell any of their drinks in primary schools around the world, unless parents or school districts ask. However, this policy does not apply to secondary schools. (more…)

Can a Soda Tax Prevent Obesity?

When I was much heavier, I had a massive soda addiction. I drank more than a 2 liter a day. (I know. I’m hanging my head in shame right now.) Part of that came from a daily stop at McDonald’s to grab an extra large Coke on the way to pick up the kids. I see other people doing this exact same thing all the time, and it’s everything I can do to keep my mouth shut. I don’t think anyone wants to hear my input on how bad their soda intake is for them, but I wonder if the government spoke up – would it have an affect?

Several of the nation’s leading health experts are calling for a tax on soda and other sugar-sweetened drinks as a means of curbing America’s ever growing obesity epidemic, with children as the age bracket with the highest levels of rising obesity. A report was recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine touting the benefits of such a tax.

From the report:

“We can raise much-needed dollars while likely reducing obesity prevalence, which is a major driver of health care costs,” the paper states. “Ultimately the government needs to raise more money to cover the deficit, and in terms of ways of raising that revenue, a tax on sugar sweetened beverages is really a no-brainer.” (more…)

Food Finds: Sprite Green and Mini Cokes

sprite greenI predict that by early 2010, you’ll see something surprisingly new – small cans of Coke. How small you ask? The cans will run 7.5 ounces and come in at only 90 calories. These are “mini me” versions of the the real thing. Typically if you buy an individual bottle of soda you’re looking at 20 ounces, 2.5 servings, and a lot of excessive calories from sugar. But with these smaller cans, you get portion and calorie control. If you replace one 20 ounce soda (240 calories) with their 7.5 ounce mini-can (90 calories) you’re saving 150 calories.

Watch my video review of the small Coke cans and another new product, Sprite Green, sweetened naturally with Truvia, the sweetener made from the Stevia plant. Sprite Green has 70 calories in 12 ounces.

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Help Someone Else Rather than Hurting Your Health

brooke randolph african orphanageI am sure you have heard the argument before that quitting smoking can help you save money. It is one reason used to argue for a tax on cigarettes. Recently, there have even been discussions of a tax on soda and possibly other unhealthy foods. Often our wallets are more important in motivating us than our own health.

Recently, I was able to visit Africa and help deliver supplies to orphanages that did not have electricity, beds, or even windows. They were enthusiastic, but a suitcase of children’s clothes just did not seem like enough. One orphanage told us that they are trying to raise money and just $2500 would build an entirely new building to house 30+ orphans. How could I not think about how much money I spend on frivolous things when there are children sleeping on concrete and not getting enough to eat? (more…)

Soda Addiction No More

sodaTo protect against foreign bacteria that can cause traveler’s diarrhea, the doctor suggested that while I recently traveled in Africa, I drink mainly soda. (Beer was also approved, but it is not something I drink. Water was only OK if I personally broke the seal on the bottle, which cannot be guaranteed at restaurants with wait-staff.) I had given up soda, but figured this might be the only health reason to drink soda. I was a bit concerned that I might start craving it or have difficulty turning it down again once I returned to American soil.

It felt odd to order Fanta at the first restaurant. My reaction to soda was not a thrill of return or a desire for more. It felt sugary and heavy. After just a day, I was experiencing nausea, bloating, and low energy. I felt unhealthy. What I was craving was a shower and 64 ounces of water! (more…)