The Harvard School of Public Health reports that soda manufacturers pump out 10.4 billion gallons of the sweet stuff annually. One of the major concerns that health experts have with soda pop relates to its sugar content. A single can on average weighs in at 33 grams. While the occasional soda pop won’t have a disastrous effect on your health, be aware of the proven detrimental health effects of drinking soda pop.
It's High in Calories
The average can of soda pop contains 150 calories, solely from added sugar. A study published in June 2000 in the "International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders" found that the calories in liquid form, such as in soda pop, are not registered by the body. As a result, soda drinkers consume more calories throughout the day as food in addition to the calories they drink in sodas. This leads to an overall calorie, or energy, surplus and weight gain.
It Triggers Type 2 Diabetes
A study published April 2007 in the "American Journal of Public Health" correlated nearly a twofold increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes with the consumption of one or more sugary beverages per day. The sugar in soda pop causes a dramatic increase in blood sugar, triggering the body to release a substance called insulin. Insulin signals the body to remove sugar from the blood. Over time, the body no longer responds to insulin, resulting in Type 2 diabetes.
It Affects Calcium Levels
Not only does soda pop directly decrease calcium intake by replacing healthier, calcium-containing beverages, like milk, it also causes the body to get rid of calcium. A study published in "The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" in August 2006 relates that this calcium depletion is the body’s response to the high levels of phosphate found in soda pop. During adolescence, calcium is critical for bone formation. Low calcium levels can have long-term effects on bones, resulting in osteoporosis and fractures later in life.
It Rots Your Teeth
Sodas are detrimental to your dental health. Not only does the sugar content in soda directly contribute to cavity formation, the acidity of soda eats away at the enamel of your teeth. The acid in sodas is nearly as corrosive to tooth enamel as battery acid. Tooth enamel protects your teeth from everyday wear and tear, but once damaged, it is damaged forever because the body cannot repair it.
- American Journal of Public Health: Effects of Soft Drink Consumption on Nutrition and Health: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
- International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders: Liquid Versus Solid Carbohydrate: Effects on Food Intake and Body Weight
- American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: Intake of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages and Weight Gain: A Systematic Review
- LiveScience: Acids in Popular Sodas Erode Tooth Enamel
- California Center for Public Health: Sugar Sweetened Beverages: Extra Sugar, Extra Calories, Extra Weight