Nothing soft about it – the stats on soft drinks

12 Apr

The weather has changed, spring is pretty official outside. The ice-cream truck is making it’s rounds, the icy carts are making regular stops at the playgrounds. Walking through the park this weekend, considering these hot weather options, I found myself noticing the number of cans in the trash cans. It’s true. An ice-cold drink feels pretty fantastic on a hot afternoon. For many (and especially for many young people) across this country, the drink of choice is a cold soft drink. A can of Coke has 10 teaspoons of sugar! This creates a major blood sugar high that is to your body, an emergency. Insulin is rushed to create balance, while sugar is turned to fat. The problem is that over time, the pancreas which is responsible for sending out insulin to put out the emergency fire that too much sugar in the blood is, the pancreas gets worn out. It doesn’t send out the proper amount of insulin anymore, it sends out too much, leaving you feeling exhausted and lethargic and cranky, and needing more sugar – this is hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia very often leads to diabetes if habits don’t change.

Getting soda pop out of school vending machines is a great first step. Pepsi cola has already agreed to get out of schools. As a parent, I find this news encouraging. The money spent marketing soda pop to our kids though is outrageous. The author of this article that outlines Mayor Bloomberg’s proposed 1 cent per ounce tax on soda pop, makes the point that education has got to be a part of the plan to reduce soda pop consumption. We’ll see in the coming months how this proposal turns out.

The education piece, must begin with us, parents and teachers and concerned citizens. Soda pop greatly contributes to childhood obesity which contributes to heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure.. not to mention they leach vitamins and minerals from our bodies when we drink them. These are scary things for a child to have to contemplate. Better that we adults contemplate for them, so that they don’t have to.

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