The Soda Conspiracy

by Jennifer Boudreau on May 28, 2013

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Isolated Chilled Coca ColaSoda has been making its way into the media a lot lately, mostly because of what New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg had proposed. In case you live in a cave, Mayor Bloomberg wants to put a ban on selling sugary sodas larger than 16 ounces in NYC eateries. He firmly believes that soda is a wildly huge contributor to our rising obesity epidemic, taxing our already troubled health care system. While I will keep my political views regarding the proposal to myself, I am ecstatic that Mayor Bloomberg’s proposal has created dialogue regarding the issue of soda.

A man who is very knowledgeable about this topic is Dr. Robert Lustig, Professor of Pediatric Endocrinology at the University of California, San Francisco. I recently watched his lecture called Sugar: The Bitter Truth. Dr. Lustig outlines the issues surrounding soda and sugar. I found his information to be so relevant that I want to share some of what I learned with you.

Let’s begin with sodium. Do you know that soda is high in sodium? Most people are completely unaware. One serving of Coke has 75 mg. The reason you cannot taste the high sodium content is because the manufacturers add sugar to hide the taste. Otherwise, people would only be able to tolerate small quantities rather than ridiculous 44 oz servings. Many of us know that most sodas contain caffeine, which is a diuretic.

So if I understand this correctly, soda companies have created a product which makes you lose fluid because of the caffeine, while at the same time, makes you thirstier by adding sodium. Do you see where I am going with this? You are in no way hydrating yourself by drinking an icy cold soda. The manufacturers are purposefully making you more THIRSTY so that you drink more soda. Not to mention the fact that the sugar itself is addicting and could be a blog topic of its own! Soda companies are in the business to make money, and they have figured out how to create the cycle for us consumers to continue drinking their beverage. Dr. Lusting is quick to point out that companies know EXACTLY what they are doing.

If you are a soda drinker, be sure to check the serving size. One 20 ounce bottle is actually 2.5 servings. If you pick up the 44 ouncer at the drive through, you are drinking over five servings. This is unhealthy for multiple reasons, but the weight gain alone should be enough of a deterrent to keep you away. Drinking one 20 ounce bottle per day can result in 26 pounds of weight gain per year while drinking one 44 ounce container per day can result in 57 pounds per year. Now, I am not saying we should never treat ourselves to a can of soda. Few people on this planet enjoy an icy cold Mountain Dew more than me, but we would be wise to understand the repercussions of drinking too much.

We can say what we like about the politics associated with Mayor Bloomberg and his proposal, but we cannot deny the obesity crisis that he is bringing awareness to. We have fallen victim to companies creating a cheap and affordable product which is addictive due to tricking our taste buds in to thinking it tastes good. As a result, obesity and diabetes are both rising at alarming rates because individuals are addicted. There are two parties who believe drinking this much soda is a good idea; our confused taste buds and beverage company shareholders.

Visit my Facebook page and share your thoughts about soda. Are you addicted?

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