Are soft drinks bad?

All over the world people drink millions of cans of soft drinks every day. USA, Mexico and Germany are some of the top consumers of soda [R1]. Believe it or not, Americans drink around 154 liters of soda per person per year! Most people think soda is harmless, but is that really true?

Soft drinks Premature deathSoft drinks linked with premature death

A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association raises some serious questions about the safety of soda. Scientists studied 451,743 people in 10 European countries, looking at death rates in people who drink soft drinks. Those who drank two or more glasses per day had a 17% higher chance of dying than those who only drank less than 1 glass per month. Both artificially sweetened and sugar sweetened soda increased the risk of premature death (26% and 8% respectively).  When the cause of death was analyzed, scientists found that artificially-sweetened soft drinks were associated with circulatory diseases and sugar-sweetened soft drinks were linked with digestive diseases.

The link between sugar-sweetened soda and diabetes is well-known. However, another study in the British Medical Journal showed that consuming sugary drinks was linked with cancer, including breast cancer. Interestingly, 100% fruit juices were also associated with a higher risk of cancer.

So do the studies prove that soft drinks cause diseases?

Based on the above, it seems there is an association between soda and cancer, diabetes and premature death. However, it is important to note that the studies don’t definitely prove that soft drinks cause these diseases. They only show a strong link between the two. However, in my opinion, there is enough scientific data to suggest that soft drinks, even when they are sugar-free, can be harmful for you.

So what can you drink instead of soda or fruit juices if you don’t like drinking just plain water? You can try water with a few drops of real fruit juice from fruits like peaches, lemons, oranges, etc. Or you can add flavor to water by adding some mint leaves. As I mentioned in the “losing weight” section of my website, drinking at least 2.5 liters of fluids per day is important to lose weight.

Based on all the existing studies, there is no doubt that drinking soda is ultimately harmful, particularly if you drink it daily. So try switching to something healthier!

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