Soft Drink Facts & Health Concerns

soft drink (शीतल पेय) is a drink that usually contains carbonated water, a sweetener, and a natural or artificial flavoring. The sweetener may be a sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, fruit juice, a sugar substitute (in the case of diet drinks), or some combination of these. Soft drinks may also contain caffeine, coloring, preservatives, and/or other ingredients. Siddha Spirituality of Swami Hardas Life System brings out the facts about the soft drink for the health interest of our readers. So read carefully and thoroughly.

In Western countries, in bars and other places. Where alcohol is served, many mixed drinks are made by blending a soft drink with hard liquor and serving the drink over ice. One well-known example is the rum and coke, which may also contain lime juice.

Some homemade fruit punch recipes, which may or may not contain alcohol, contain a mixture of various fruit juices and a soft drink. 

Soft drink Brands

Examples of soft drink brands include Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Sprite, Sierra Mist, Fanta, Sunkist, Mountain Dew, Dr. Pepper, and 7 UP.

Soft drink definition (शीतल पेय परिभाषा)

soft drink is a drink that usually contains carbonated water (although some lemonades are not carbonated), a sweetener, and a natural or artificial flavoring. Soft drinks are called “soft” in contrast with “hard” alcoholic drinks.

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Soft drink Ingredients (शीतल पेय सामग्री)

A can of Pepsi (12 fl ounces) has:

  • 41 grams of carbohydrates (all from sugars)
  • 30 mg of sodium
  • 0 grams of fat
  • 0 grams of protein
  • 38 mg of caffeine
  • 150 calories

Pepsi has 10 more calories and 2 more grams of sugar and carbohydrates than Coca-Cola. Caffeine-Free Pepsi contains the same ingredients but without the caffeine:

  • Carbonated water (कार्बनयुक्त पानी)
  • High fructose corn syrup (उच्च फ़्रुक्टोस मकई शरबत)
  • Caramel color (कारमेल रंग)
  • Sugar (चीनी)
  • Phosphoric acid (फॉस्फोरिक एसिड)
  • Caffeine (कॉफी-सार)
  • The citric acid (साइट्रिक अम्ल जो नीबू में पाया जाता है)
  • Natural flavors (प्राकृतिक स्वाद)

Soft drink Consumption (शीतल पेय का सेवन)

Per capita consumption of soda varies considerably around the world. As of 2014, the top consuming countries per capita were Argentina, the United States, Chile, and Mexico. Developed countries in Europe and elsewhere in the Americas had considerably lower consumption.

Soft drink Health concerns (शीतल पेय से स्वास्थ्य संबंधी समस्याएं)

  • Obesity (मोटापा)
  • Hypertension (उच्च रक्तचाप)
  • Type 2 diabetes (मधुमेह प्रकार 2)
  • Dental caries (दंत क्षय)
  • Low nutrient levels (कम पोषक तत्वों का स्तर)

Experimental studies tend to support a causal role for sugar-sweetened soft drinks in these ailments, though this is challenged by other researchers. “Sugar-sweetened” includes drinks that use high-fructose corn syrup, as well as those using sucrose.

Many soft drinks contain ingredients that are themselves sources of concern:

  • Anxiety and sleep disruption is a result of Caffeine when consumed in excess. 
  • Sodium benzoate has been investigated by researchers at the University of Sheffield as a possible cause of DNA damage and hyperactivity.

In 2005, the CSPI called for warning labels on soft drinks, similar to those on cigarettes and alcohol.

Obesity and weight-related diseases (मोटापा और वजन से संबंधित बीमारियां)

From 1977 to 2002, Americans doubled their consumption of sweetened beverages—a trend that was paralleled by doubling the prevalence of obesity. The consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with weight and obesity, and changes in consumption can help predict changes in weight.

It remains possible that the correlation is due to a third factor. People who lead unhealthy lifestyles might consume more soft drinks. If so, then the association between soft drink consumption and weight gain could reflect the consequences of an unhealthy lifestyle.

Reviews of the experimental evidence suggest that soft drink consumption does cause weight gain, but the effect is often small except for overweight individuals. A soft drink can also be associated with many weight-related diseases, including:

According to research presented at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology and Prevention/Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism 2013 Scientific Sessions by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health, sugar-sweetened beverages may be responsible for 180,000 deaths every year worldwide.

Dental decay (दंत क्षय)

Most soft drinks contain high concentrations of simple carbohydrates:

  • Glucose
  • Fructose
  • Sucrose and other simple sugars

If oral bacteria ferment carbohydrates and produce acids that may dissolve tooth enamel and induce dental decay, then sweetened drinks may increase the risk of dental caries. The risk would be greater if the frequency of consumption is high.

A large number of soda pops are acidic as are many fruits, sauces, and other foods. Drinking acidic drinks over a long period and continuous sipping may erode the tooth enamel. A 2007 study determined that some flavored sparkling waters are as erosive or more so than orange juice.

Using a drinking straw is often advised by dentists as the drink does not come into as much contact with the teeth. It has also been suggested that brushing teeth right after drinking soft drinks should be avoided as this can result in additional erosion to the teeth due to the presence of acid.

Hypokalemia (हाइपोकॅलेमिया)

There have been a handful of published reports describing individuals with severe hypokalemia (low potassium levels) related to extreme consumption of colas.

Bone density and bone loss (अस्थि घनत्व और हड्डी की हानि)

In a meta-analysis of 88 studies, drinking soda correlates with a decrease in milk consumption along with vitamin D, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, calcium, protein, and other micronutrients. Phosphorus, a micronutrient, can be found in cola-type drinks, but there may be a risk in consuming too much. 

Phosphorus and calcium are used in the body to create calcium-phosphate, which is the main component of bone. However, the combination of too much phosphorus with too little calcium in the body can lead to a degeneration of bone mass. Research suggests a statistically significant inverse relationship between consumption of carbonated drinks and bone mineral density in young girls, which places them at increased risk of fractures.

In the 1950s and 1960s, there were attempts in France and Japan to ban the sale of Coca-Cola. The reason behind was that phosphates can block calcium absorption. 

Sugar content (चीनी की मात्रा)

The USDA’s Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) of added sugars is less than 10 teaspoons per day for a 2,000-calorie diet. High caloric intake contributes to obesity if not balanced with exercise, with a large amount of exercise being required to offset even small but calorie-rich food and drinks.

Benzene (बेंजीन)

In 2006, the United Kingdom Food Standards Agency published the results of its survey of benzene levels in soft drinks, which tested 150 products and found that four contained benzene levels above the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines for drinking water.

Pesticides in India (भारत में कीटनाशक)

In 2003, the Delhi non-profit Centre for Science and Environment published a disputed report finding pesticide levels in Coke and Pepsi soft drinks sold in India at levels 30 times that considered safe by the European Economic Community. This was found in primarily 12 cold drink brands sold in and around New Delhi. The Indian Health Minister said the CSE tests were inaccurate and said that the government’s tests found pesticide levels within India’s standards but above EU standards.

Kidney stones (पथरी)

A study published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology in 2013 concluded that consumption of soft drinks was associated with a 23% higher risk of developing Gallstone or kidney stones.

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Health Concerns




8 thoughts on “Soft Drink Facts & Health Concerns

  1. I never knew that soft drink can be so hazardous for health. Thank you very much for this knowledge.

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