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029 - Kids and Soda

posted Nov 30, 2015, 1:02 PM by Doug Muha

Counselor Notes 29

December 1, 2014


In Counselor Notes 27, I addressed the issue of children seeing far too much violence on t.v. or in the movies and video games.  In Counselor Notes 28, I tried to focus some attention on the role models we are holding up for our boys (i.e. superheroes).  For this issue, I want to “switch gears” a bit to take a look at soda.

The survey of third grade students revealed 41% had soda with their dinner the previous evening.  As the health of our children is of importance to all Americans, I would encourage parents to limit soda to a treat on special occasions.  The links provided below make a case for doing just that.

Soda and disease:

·         http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/healthy-drinks/soft-drinks-and-disease/ 

·         http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/02/10/10-diseases-linked-to-soda.aspx

 Soda causes cells to age as fast as smoking does:

·         http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/21/health/sugar-soda-age-faster/index.html?iref=allsearch

·         http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/10/21/soda-causes-our-cells-to-age-as-much-as-smoking-does-study-finds/?intcmp=latestnews

 You may want to cut soda out of your child’s diet if you have concerns about their weight:

·         http://healthland.time.com/2012/09/22/studies-show-that-cutting-out-soda-curbs-childrens-weight-gain/ 

·         http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/sugary-drinks-fact-sheet/ 

·         http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/21/obesity-soda-sugary-drinks_n_1904732.html


What is in soda may be of concern:

Sodas typically contain carbonated water and high fructose corn syrup (among other things).  Let’s see what those do:

Carbonated water- avoid it if you are at risk (or have) irritable bowel syndrome, otherwise it is seems to be okay.  http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/expert.q.a/05/06/carbonated.water.jampolis/

High fructose corn syrup – not everyone thinks it is safe:

Food dyes – the color of some sodas is obtained by using food dyes.  At least some of these dyes MAY be linked to attention problems in some children. http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/possible-link-between-food-dyes-and-adhd/2014/07/14/b17d2be4-01fc-11e4-b8ff-89afd3fad6bd_story.html   

Caramel color (in colas; it’s name is really 4-methylimidazole, caramel coloring is just a name the government allows them to use) - http://www.cbsnews.com/news/caramel-coloring-chemical-linked-to-cancer-found-in-too-high-levels-in-some-colas/ 

Phosphoric acid (in colas) MIGHT:

·         Raise the risk of kidney stones - http://www.livestrong.com/article/468217-why-is-phosphoric-acid-bad-for-you/   (Meat and dairy might be a larger source of phosphoric acid for most Americans: http://blog.fooducate.com/2009/06/30/11-quick-facts-about-phosphoric-acid-yes-that-chemical-in-coca-cola/ )  

·         Deplete calcium levels in the body setting the stage for osteoporosis and weak bones http://www.livestrong.com/article/484669-does-phosphoric-acid-deplete-your-calcium/  (Please note: calcium deficiencies may be a big factor in depression http://www.livestrong.com/article/91388-calcium-depression/ )

·         Deplete the body’s level of magnesium http://www.rd.com/health/healthy-eating/4-reasons-to-avoid-all-soda-even-diet/  (Please note: This article in Psychology Today calls magnesium “The Original Chill Pill“ http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/evolutionary-psychiatry/201106/magnesium-and-the-brain-the-original-chill-pill )


Those giving their children diet soda (or drinking it them self) may be doing something even worse:

People drinking diet soda ought to read these articles:

·         http://www.prevention.com/food/healthy-eating-tips/diet-soda-bad-you

·         http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/10/29/10-reasons-to-give-up-diet-soda/   

Does diet soda cause weight GAIN? 

·         http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/11/diet-soda-health-risks_n_3581842.html

·         http://www.webmd.com/diet/news/20050613/drink-more-diet-soda-gain-more-weight

Is diet soda just as bad for your teeth as meth or crack cocaine? http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/05/29/diet-soda-just-as-harmful-to-teeth-as-meth-and-crack-cocaine-study-claims/ 

Why is diet soda considered one of the 5 foods women should avoid?  http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/09/12/5-foods-women-should-avoid/ 

Does the artificial sweetener used for diet soda “set the stage” for diabetes:  http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/health/2014/09/18/new-study-raises-questions-about-artificial-sweeteners-and-potential-link-to/

Is aspartame (the sweetener in diet soda) really this bad?  http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/04/16/aspartame-diet-soda.aspx  

I have done my best to provide sound information, but would not be willing to argue that history will find every one of these links is completely accurate.  On the other hand, is there anyone that wants to argue that time will find them all to be inaccurate? 

If there is some truth to some of these links then in the best interests of the long term health of our children, let’s use soda only as a treat on special occasions and not a regular drink with meals.   

Doug Muha Ed.S.
School Counselor
Waverly Elementary School

P.S.   If you like Coca-Cola (I do!), you probably better not check out this site (or if you do read it, then hope that it is inaccurate): http://www.whydontyoutrythis.com/2013/09/what-happens-to-our-body-after-drinking-coca-cola.html

This article has some interesting facts & trivia about Coca-Cola: http://www.businessinsider.com/facts-about-coca-cola-2011-6?op=1