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Soft Drinks: Yes or No?

Por MyDiet™ -

Parents suspect that it isn't such a great idea for their children to drink soft drinks. In the summertime, much larger amounts of this colorful, fizzy beverage are drunk.

So are these beverages as bad as some of us think? Medical associations say they don't contain the nutrients needed for growth, make intestinal absorption difficult, can make you gain weight, and don't even satisfy your thirst. Soft drinks, or soda, only provide your body with sugar, not any vitamins or nutrients. Calories from sugar-sweetened beverages like soda are thought to be contributing to the childhood overweight and obesity problem, which the American Academy of Pediatrics is now defining as an epidemic.

Furthermore, according to a recent study done at the University of California, San Diego, sodas don't allow the body to absorb certain important substances. For example, if they're consumed with dairy products, they can decrease the body’s absorption of calcium, a nutrient that is necessary for growth and bone development. Also, when kids drink increased amounts of sugar-sweetened beverages like soda, they drink less of the healthy beverages, like milk, that provide them with the nutrients they need to grow.

And there are more specific arguments. Experts say that sodas create a dangerous sensation of fullness. This could be one reason why we hear from parents all too often "the child doesn't eat."

Many nutritionists agree: parents have to instill good eating habits in their kids. Parents are responsible for creating an environment in which they have access to healthy choices for both food and beverages. It is okay to allow kids to have these beverages occasionally, but it is important that “occasional” does not become “regularly.”

A lot people wonder if diet soda is better than regular soda. Though diet sodas don’t have any calories because they contain artificial sweeteners, they can cause the sensation of fullness and prohibit people from choosing healthy foods or beverages. 

Soft drinks, which entered the beverage market in force in the 1950s, have a characteristic that fascinates the old and the young: they're sweet, the only aspect of their appeal with a genetic component, according to nutritionists.

Another issue is the energizing effect sodas have. Some of these drinks contain stimulants. One of the most common stimulants in soft drinks is caffeine, which can affect some people by altering their sleep patterns, among other things.

Plain water is the best beverage to drink to stay hydrated. Low-fat or skim milk is also a good choice, especially for teens and young children. Fruit juices that are 100% juice are also nutritious, but should also be consumed in moderation due to their high calorie level.


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