The American Heart Association indicates we should have less than 3 regular soft drinks per week. I read this to family members, and they always say to me, "my diet pepsi has 0 calories though, so I am okay."The dangers of soda extend beyond the increase in calories, although this is likely an important contributor to weight gain and obesity. Calories consumed in liquid form do not satisfy hunger as effectively as calories consumed in solid food form, so people often consume more total calories, which can lead to weight gain.In addition, consuming large amounts of rapidly digested sugar and high fructose corn syrup causes a spike in blood sugar and insulin, which can lead to inflammation and insulin resistance, both of which may increase your risk of stroke, heart disease, diabetes, obesity and cancer.The large doses of fructose from both sucrose (table sugar) and high fructose corn syrup may be particularly detrimental to your health as they can cause the accumulation of metabolically toxic belly fat, cholesterol abnormalities -- including high triglycerides and reduced levels of HDL (good cholesterol) -- and nonalcoholic associated fatty liver disease.Soda is also associated with symptoms of gastro-esophageal reflux disease, when the contents of the stomach leak back up and cause a burning sensation in the esophagus. While drinking soda is not known to cause ulcers, it can cause symptoms to flare up.
Studies are also starting to indicate significant harm from diet soft drinks too (meaning coke zero, diet pepsi, diet coke aren't going to save you with 0 calories). The NY Times reported in 2012,
Some studies have suggested that consumption of diet soft drinks may be associated with Type 2 diabetes and development of the condition known as metabolic syndrome — high blood pressure, abdominal obesity and other risk factors. Now a 10-year epidemiological study has found a link between diet soft drinks and cardiovascular disease.So much for the conventional wisdom that diet soft drinks are not a problem.
If we want to solve obesity, we have to make smarter decisions. Realizing diet soft drinks aren't going to save us from the problems that soft drinks cause is one starting point.
I don't want government using costs of health care to infringe on our liberty, but if we want to stop that type of infringement, we have to start showing we can take personal responsibility instead of just shouting how it is about personal responsibility and creating higher costs by bad decision making just to be stubborn.
With liberty comes responsibility.