Home / Drinks / How Soft Drinks Contribute to Obesity

How Soft Drinks Contribute to Obesity

Robert Earl Hughes (1926 – 1958) of Monticello, MO weighed 1069 lbs in February, 1958. Asked by a reporter once how he ever got that big, Hughes replied that he was really a fairly light eater, but he loved his “sodie pop!” The story that he was buried in a packing case made for a grand piano is a myth and patently untrue.

Today millions guzzle their “sodie pop” without a second thought to their health, yet more doctors every day are jumping on the bandwagon calling for more regulations or new taxes to curb the explosion of obesity that plagues America. There are a number of reason that so many Americans are obese, but one of the prime culprits are soft drinks.

Sugar is the primary culprit, although research has revealed that diet drinks may be even more insidious by kicking off enzymes and receptors that create a craving for food – especially fatty foods.

Dr. Dhingra and his colleagues were surprised that regular and diet soft drinks posed similar risks for metabolic syndrome contributing to obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes – which remained the case even when the study was weighted to account for such dietary factors as saturated and transfatty acids, calorie intake, fiber consumption and levels of physical activity.

Several theories have been advanced as to why this tendency exists. Some theorized that perhaps the extreme sweetness of soft drinks caused those consumers to crave more sweet foods. Others thought the caramelized coloring in some colas might promote a resistance to insulin and cause commensurate inflammation. But these are just hypotheses. No one yet knows for certain. To others though it is now obvious that high acidic levels will help cause these symptoms (see research by Dr. Young and Dr. Baroody).

Soft drinks may also displace other healthier choices in people’s diets. A recent Harvard study indicates that soft drinks could be responsible for doubling the rate of obesity in children since 1990.

Other U. S. research has shed light on the fact that adolescent boys have increased their daily consumption of soft drinks by a troublesome 43% from what it was just 12 years ago.

In a study conducted by Dr. David Ludwig of the Boston Children’s Hospital, Ludwig discovered that Boston area school children drank at least eight fluid ounces or more of sugary soft drinks daily consuming 835 calories more than those who didn’t include sodas as part of their diet.

It was also determined that children who drink sugary soft drinks often eat much more food than those who don’t. One possible reason for this is the sugary drinks precipitate a rise in insulin making regular soda drinkers hungrier. causing them to eat more. Moreover, soft drinks – including the so-called diet ones – are often consumed with fatty foods like as fast foods.

What holds true for the children’s studies regarding soft drink consumption is doubly true for adults, especially those over forty. Until the average American is educated on their bodies and how their general health is related to their diet obesity in America will continue to be a problem.