Obesity is a national epidemic in the United States. A recent study by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in the US showed that 2 out of 3 adults are overweight. One out of three adults is in the obese stage. At least one in twenty adults is extremely obese. Around thirty percent of children from ages six to nineteen are either overweight or obese and in that percentage, one out of six children is clinically obese.
These observations are alarming and make experts on food re-evaluate everything about food and drink consumption. Now, too much intake of soda was linked to obesity and there was a study published by the “The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” regarding the issue. Soda beverages are purely sugar in water with added chemicals. The Harvard School of Public Health says that fifty percent of the residents in the United States are soda drinkers and this is one of the main reasons why they are overly fat.
What’s in a soda?
As already mentioned, soda drinks are mostly sugar, in content. It has no nutritional value and it doesn’t provide any health benefit. If you drink a can of soda, that will be an added 155 calories to you with at least 39.5 grams of sugar. That’s a lot of sugar! A person needs at least 25 grams (for women) of sugar daily with a maximum of 37.5 grams (for men). If you drink one can, that is over the limit of your recommended daily allowance for sugar.
A study done by the Harvard School of Public Health revealed that a person who drinks a 12-oz soda each day for a year without adjusting his other food intake is likely to gain at least ten to fifteen pounds.
A scientific study on soft drinks
A study funded by the University of California San Francisco Benioff Children’s Hospital attests that a human body is not built to gulp down calorie-filled drinks. A hormone in the body called “ghrelin” is responsible for the hungry and satiated feeling a person experiences.
When a person eats, the hormone lessens its production in the body and the result is for a person to feel full. Now, if the person is hungry, there will be a surge of ghrelin. If he eats, the person will be fulfilled. But when he drinks, the response is not the same. It is only effective when solid food is consumed and not when drinking liquids.
What is the point of this? Let’s say, you are hungry and you drank a serving of soda. That’s 155 calories. But you will still feel the hunger pangs. After a few minutes, you will still look for a way to fill your body with something to make the hunger go away. The point is that you will eat more calories because liquid drinks, especially soda, will not satiate you like how food does.
Genetics is also an issue
Well, as the heading says – genetics also plays a part on your body form, body structure and body fat. It also dictates how you are able store and burn fasts, as well. The New England Journal of Medicine found out that your genetic disposition heightens the possibility of you getting obese by drinking soda and other sugar-filled drinks. If your parents and grandparents on both sides are overweight or obese, lay low on your soda consumption or better yet, eliminate it from your diet.
A better alternative to soda
Soda or soft drinks contain zero health and with no nutritional value. We have established that already. It does have a sweet taste but sweetness doesn’t bring good health. In fact, sweets can make you go sick. It can ruin your teeth with decay and cavities. Sugar and sweets can also bring about Type 2 diabetes. Is it really worth it?
You have to choose a better alternative. Instead of drinking a can of soft drink, the best choice is to swap it with water. You can also add flavor to your water like some lemon, lime, orange or any citrus fruit slices infused with water. Adding mint is a great way to reap of the benefits of mint too.
Sometimes, you want a carbonated beverage and the fact that water is not carbonated; it doesn’t quench your thirst for it. If you are craving for one, instead of soda, pick up a non-sodium and sugar-free seltzer. Unsweetened herbal teas with flavors are great too.