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EAT & DRINK ORGANIC
soft-drinks’ truth | EU food labelling


SOFT DRINKS, HARD TRUTH


source: www.vitalstar.com/Contents/
health/articles/healthcorner/
general/softdrinks.htm

soft-drinks’ truth
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intro: globally, carbonated soft drinks are the third most-consumed beverage. These popular beverages account for more than a quarter of all drinks consumed in the United States. Not only are soft drinks widely available everywhere from fast food restaurants to video stores, they're now sold in 60% of all public and private middle schools and high schools nationwide, according to the National Soft Drink Association. 25 years ago, teenagers drank almost twice as much milk as soda pop. Today they drink twice as much soda pop as milk.

As soda pop becomes the beverage of choice among the nation's young - and as soda marketers focus on brand-building among younger and younger consumers - public health officials, school boards, parents, consumer groups and even the soft drink industry are faced with nagging questions: How healthful are these beverages, which provide a lot calories, sugars and caffeine but no significant nutritional value? And what happens if you drink a lot of them at a very young age?

did you know? The average 12-ounce (360 ml.) can of soda pop contains about 40 grams of refined sugars. That's 10 teaspoons of pure calories. Would you ever eat 10 teaspoons of sugar at once? Soda pop adds unnecessary, non-nutritious calories to the diet, though it has not been proven that this is responsible for the excess calories that lead to obesity. However, heavy consumption is likely to contribute to weight gain in many consumers. Sugary soft drinks also promote tooth decay.

High consumption of soft drinks (especially colas) increases phosphorus intake and may contribute to an imbalance in the calcium-phosphorus ratio. If you do choose to drink colas that contain phosphorus, it is important that your calcium intake increases to match it. For example, you should drink 4 glasses of milk for every cola you drink, or take a calcium supplement that contains at least 500 milligrams of calcium.

reaction: some US state legislators are already taking steps to limit soft drink sales to youngsters. While some schools rely on funds from vending machines to pay for student activities, the new policy says elementary and high schools should avoid such contracts, and that those with existing contracts should impose restrictions to avoid promoting excessive consumption by kids. As a consequence, sodas have fizzled out of several schools’ vending machine and been replaced by bottled water, sports drinks, juices and other healthy drinks.

the initiative: in November 2004, the American Medical Student Association launched a campaign to boycott sodas and called on others to do the same. “The goal of National No Soda Day is to draw attention to the obesity issue and the detriment to health such ‘liquid candy brings” said Lenny Lesser, a third-year UR medical student and the American Medical Student Association's national coordinator in charge of getting schools involved in this first-ever event. 40 of the nation's 145 medical schools took part to the initiative.


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