Is Your Child Drinking Too Much Soda? | Veggiecation© a Culinary-Nutrition Education Program About Vegetables
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Tuesday, 17 December 2013 14:42

Is Your Child Drinking Too Much Soda?

Over the past five decades, soda consumption per capita has increased by almost 500 percent. This may not seem alarming, but here’s the troubling part: children are a major reason for this colossal increase.

Soda is the biggest source of calories in the United States today. It is loaded with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), a cheap and damaging type of sugar. Even more problematic are diet sodas, which contain toxic artificial sweeteners like aspartame.

 

A lot of children today are introduced to soda at a young age. As they grow up, their soda consumption only increases.   

In fact, an estimated 56 percent of eight-year-olds drink soda every day. By the time they become teenagers, they are already consuming at least three cans of soda daily!

With these figures, it’s no wonder many children are now in a poor state of health.

 

Americans Are Now Addicted to Soda

The increase in children consuming soda is now a common subject of research. A study conducted by researchers from the Emory University in Atlanta studied data from a federal health survey (which ended in 2008), and found that 12.5 percent of children drink artificially sweetened beverages.

Other research papers focused on the severe effects of sugar-loaded soda. For example, a study from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio revealed that people who drink diet soda regularly had a larger increase in waist size compared to non-diet soda drinkers.

The researchers followed 474 diet soda drinkers for almost 10 years, and found that the diet soda drinkers have a 70 percent increase in waist size than non-diet soda drinkers.

In addition, those who consumed two or more diet sodas daily had a 500 percent greater increase in waist size!

Diet Water and Other Unhealthy Drinks for Children

Many concerned parents who are already aware of the dangers of soda consumption are now looking for alternatives. Among the most popular choices are diet water and vitamin water. Manufacturers of these beverages claim that they are “loaded with vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, oxygen, fiber, and even protein.”

But the problem is that these drinks are not healthy at all. In fact, they may be even loaded with undesirable and damaging ingredients that can wreak havoc on your child’s overall health. 

So, before buying any of these so-called “healthy” drinks, make sure you check the label to see what ingredients they contain. If there are ingredients that are difficult to pronounce, then that’s a sign that the product is not healthy at all.

Give Your Children These Safer Beverages Choices

Remember that children look up to their elders, especially their parents. If you are a soda drinker and you are not willing to give it up, then your children are unlikely to stop drinking it too.

Instead of giving them soda, give them healthy drinks like:

  • Veggie juice – This is similar to the fruit smoothies that your children love, except that it’s made from healthy green veggies. Veggies are loaded with nutrients and contain almost no sugar, unlike fruits. Feel free to experiment by using different types of green produce.
  • Herbal tea – Regular tea varieties may contain caffeine, which is not recommended for children. Opt for herbal varieties instead, like hibiscus tea and caffeine-free tulsi tea. Ask your pediatrician, though, before giving any type of tea to your child.
  • Coconut water – This is a delicious drink that your child will surely love. Coconut water, the juice inside young coconuts, is refreshing, hydrating, and slightly sweet.

Set a good example for your kids by eliminating soda from your own diet. Try these other healthy drinks, and, eventually, your child will get the message and stop drinking soda.

 

About the Author:

Elaine R. writes for Mercola.com. She believes that all parents should be aware of the dangers of soda. She is also researching about protein bars and whey protein benefits.

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