soft drinks

Soft drinks, without limits?

In the scientific community, there are few topics in which there is as much consensus as in which refers to discourage the frequent consumption of sugary drinks, either in children or adults; something that makes us think of the well-known saying “when the river sounds, water carries”. Although in this case, the river, in addition to water carries sugar and quite a lot. In Spain, sugary drinks are known as “soft drinks“, an unfortunate term, since it suggests that their ability to cool our body is superior to that of a good glass of cold water, something that is not true. Why do several health authorities propose to “avoid” them? Is it so dangerous to consume them regularly? Numerous investigations justify the recommendation, as detailed in this text.

Soft drinks: water with sugar, little moresoft drinks

The nutritional content of the “soft drinks” leaves no room for doubt: they provide sugar, water, and very little else. Some contain small amounts of fruit juices, something that does not substantially improve their nutritional value. That is why the English meaning ” sugar-sweetened beverages ” (“sugary drinks”) responds better to reality than “soft drinks”. A typical can of cola or orange contains between 8 and 9 teaspoons of sugar, while the bottle of half a liter has between 12 and 14 teaspoons of sugar.

Any diner who served between 8 and 14 teaspoons of sugar in a coffee would generate an avalanche of comments, while the same does not happen when a child ingests one of these drinks. And ingests them, since according to the study revealed inKid, carried out in a representative sample of Spanish children and youngsters, no less than 92.6% of the group consumes sugary drinks on a regular basis. Adults, in any case, we are not going to lag behind, according to the available data. Keep readingĀ

Sugary drinks: who discourages them and why?soft drinks

The New York Department of Health launched an anti-sugary soda campaign in 2009 called ” Are you pouring on the pounds? “, As you can see here. In the video, the can of soda that the young actor takes contains a substance that is very reminiscent of the intra-abdominal fat that is extracted in liposuction. While the boy tastes his sugary drink with joy, a yellowish and semi-solid substance pours from the corners of his mouth. The announcement ends with this sentence: “Drinking a can of sugary soda a day can make you gain 4.5 kg after one year.”

Although it seems sensational, the fact is that the risk of obesity increases clearly due to the frequent consumption of these drinks. The most recent Spanish consensus on obesity, in fact, points out that frequent consumption of sugary drinks is associated with higher body mass indexes. There are several explanations for this, although one of the most accepted is that the so-called “liquid calories” satisfy little; that is, it is as if our body does not “detect” all the energy they contain.

One year after the publication of the controversial video of the New York Department of Health, the Advisory Council of the American Dietary Guidelines, with the assistance of the Cochrane Collaboration, declared that the population should “avoid” sugary drinks. The word “avoid” was, until that date, the most resounding recommendation issued in a document of this nature. Today, on the other hand, many organizations use this verb. The Global Fund for Cancer Research, for example, is clear in its recommendation – “avoid sugary drinks” – as can be seen here.

Among the reasons to discourage them, in addition to the risk of obesity mentioned above, the clear association of these beverages with cardiovascular diseases or even an increased risk of cancer stands out. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), these drinks are associated with 180,000 deaths from chronic diseases in adults each year, 6,000 of which are from cancer.

Dr. Margaret Chan, director of the WHO, adds something more. As he stated recently, highly processed foods (such as sugary drinks) are designed to be irresistible and to eat more than necessary. Because obesity increases the risk of numerous chronic diseases, any food that increases the risk of suffering it should be consumed with much moderation.

Soft drinks and diabetes, what is your relationship?soft drinks

In April 2013, a new study stoked the controversy. The research, published in the journal ‘Diabetologia’, noted that taking the equivalent of one can of soda per day significantly increase the risk of suffering from a disease very related to obesity: type 2 diabetes. It is not a job either since it evaluated eight European cohorts (350,000 participants) participating in the European Prospective Study on Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). Spain was part of the investigation, along with Germany, Denmark, Italy, Sweden, France, Italy, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

Other studies have found clear associations between the consumption of these drinks and the risk of diabetes, so it is not surprising that this new research corroborates the association between the increase in the incidence of type 2 diabetes and the high consumption of sugary drinks. One of those responsible for the study, Dr. Dora Romaguera, made for ‘Medical Journal’ some statements that we can not ignore: “Taking into account the increase in consumption of sugary drinks in Europe, should be sent to the population clear messages about the effect against the health of these soft drinks “.

More recent are the opinions issued by Dr. Frank Hu, from the Department of Nutrition and Epidemiology at Harvard University, which collects ‘ Obesity Reviews ‘. For Hu, the evidence convincingly points out that reducing the consumption of sugary drinks will reduce the risk of obesity and related diseases, such as type 2 diabetes

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