Local nutrition experts say one of the most severe consequences of overindulging in these fizzy drinks is metabolic syndrome. In the July edition of Circulation, an American Heart Association journal, a professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine and his associates reported that middle-aged adults who drank more than one carbonated soft drink per day had a 48 percent higher prevalence of metabolic syndrome compared to infrequent drinkers. Metabolic syndrome is defined as having three or more of the following metabolic derangements: excess fat around the waist, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, reduced high-density lipoproteins (the "good" cholesterol) and higher insulin resistance. Surprisingly, this finding applied to intake of both regular and diet drinks.
"The conclusion in the article, based on all of the studies, was that in the large community-based sample of middle-aged adults, soft drink consumption was associated with a higher risk of developing adverse metabolic traits in a metabolic syndrome," explains Amber C. Faul, a clinical dietitian and licensed nutritionist at Lafayette General Medical Center.
Younger individuals are at risk as well. School kids, who are the biggest consumers of soda, are vulnerable to diseases associated with obesity, including Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. This is not surprising, considering that one 12-ounce can of soda has almost nine teaspoons of sugar and about 150 calories. With the average consumer drinking almost two of these beverages daily, that translates to about 2,000 calories per week.
"The colas contain high-fructose corn syrup, which is what makes them so sweet," explains Nichole Barras, a lifestyle consultant at the City Club at River Ranch. "There is little nutrition, and there are lots of calories in high-fructose corn syrup, which is also in a lot of products that we are unaware of."
According to the National Soft Drink Association, Americans daily consume an average of more than 600 12-ounce servings of soda, or 1.6 cans, each year. Beverage Digest reports that overall sales of soft drinks were 10.2 billion cases in 2005. Males ages 12-29 are the biggest gulpers, consuming more than 160 gallons per year, or almost two quarts daily.
And don't even think you can lose weight by drinking diet colas because the artificially-sweetened beverages may increase your desire for sweet foods. "The diet sodas can make people gain weight," Barras notes. "We are taking in artificial sweeteners that can actually make us store more fat and eat more food."
Yet another problem associated with sodas is tooth decay. Sugary soft drinks lead to increased cavities and tooth loss. Diet colas are not necessarily safer ' acids in both regular and sugar-free drinks can erode tooth enamel. "If you think about it, don't we pour cola on battery acid in order to get it to eat it up?" Faul observes. "So, think about that acid eating the enamel off of your teeth." Additionally, both sugary and diet beverages can contribute to osteoporosis. Soft drinks contain a high level of phosphorous, which can deplete bone calcium and lead to bone fractures. A study of 460 high school girls published in Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine in June of 2000 indicated that sodas were "highly" associated with bone fractures. "The acid ph in colas is approximately 3.4, which is strong enough to dissolve teeth and bones," Barras says.
Many regular and diet drinks contain caffeine, which acts as a diuretic that could dehydrate your body ' and it can be addictive, leading to irritability, anxiety, insomnia and even heart irregularities. Moreover, when consumers decrease caffeine intake, they might experience withdrawal, producing symptoms such as headache, fatigue and inability to work. "Caffeine is a vasodilator," Faul explains. "So, when you don't drink the caffeine and your body is used to it, it constricts those vessels, which causes that headache from caffeine withdrawal."
Perhaps most notable is that drinking a lot of colas leaves little room for good liquids, such as plain old H20 ' the best you can drink ' and other beverages like juice and milk. This deprives the body of important nutrients, particularly calcium and vitamins C and D.
"If you are drinking one or two diet sodas a day, in my opinion, I don't think you are at risk for any type of detrimental disease," Barras says.
"So, really, the key is everything in moderation," Faul adds. "One 12-ounce soft drink a day is not bad. You just want to make sure you are getting your fluids. If you are drinking caffeinated beverages, make sure you are drinking water to counteract that."
Mike Harson's coffers show the advantage of incumbency.
The Lafayette City-Parish Council will vote on an ordinance for final adoption Tuesday that, if approved, would give the city the green light to take over a stretch of Verot School Road from the state Department of Transportation and Development.
The Louisiana Association of Educators filed a lawsuit challenging the $60 million in spending through Louisiana's public school financing formula.
He's been out of office for nearly a decade, but former U.S. Sen. John Breaux is back on the campaign trail, urging voters to support his one-time colleague, Democrat Mary Landrieu.
The unresolved fate of the ashes left behind after Ebola waste was destroyed in Texas highlights the problem U.S. hospitals and communities could face in disposing of their own waste.
Lafayette manufactured home or Scott two bedroom home
Cajun fan fierce
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
While much of the talk was about whether New Orleans could win a big game — or any game, for that matter — on the road, the conversation in the Saints' locker room was about something completely different.
State health officials told thousands of doctors planning to attend a tropical diseases meeting this weekend in New Orleans to stay away if they have been to certain African countries or have had contact with an Ebola patient in the last 21 days.
Republicans are calling on Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu to apologize after she suggested Thursday that President Barack Obama's deep unpopularity in the South is partly tied to race.
Compared to the rest of the country, Lafayette has it pretty good when it comes to the cost and speed of our Internet.
Hello Kitty turns 40; police ambush suspect caught; Knicks surprise Cavs and more national and international news for Friday, October 31, 2014.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
The Lafayette City-Parish Council will consider on Tuesday a revised plan to the transform a block in Downtown Lafayette into a mixed-use residential-retail-commercial development that doesn’t include giving title to the property to the Lafayette Public Trust Finance Authority, an arrangement the council rejected earlier this month.
Trying to combat the national undertones of Louisiana's U.S. Senate race, Democratic incumbent Mary Landrieu is traveling the state this week on a sort of pork celebration tour, telling voters about the projects and aid she's delivered to Louisiana.
Ever thought that big, pink Gulf coast shrimp you ordered at the restaurant or bought from the store didn't taste juicy or salty enough? Maybe it wasn't from the Gulf.
The state treasurer won't sign financial documents needed for $200 million in borrowing or for a refinancing of existing debt until he believes they accurately explain the surplus disagreement.
Homecoming outfits with ease
Acadian style home in St. Martinville or traditional Breaux Bridge home
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Bill Cassidy voted for 97 percent of the bills signed by Barack Obama.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is joining South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley on her campaign bus tour.
A New Iberia man has been sentenced to life in prison for killing a 4-year-old girl and scalding her 3-year-old brother.
A district judge decided Wednesday against sanctioning attorney/school board candidate Dawn Morris for her behind-the-scenes role in a lawsuit against Mark Cockerham.
Secretary of State Tom Schedler says Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration may have improperly destroyed records in the state employee health insurance program, in the middle of a heavily-criticized rewrite of benefit plans.
Paper cites the former ADA's "experience as a prosecutor, his demonstrated integrity, and his ideas for reshaping the [DA's] office" in urging voters to support Keith Stutes Nov. 4.
Louisiana officials have sent a letter to the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene un-inviting members of the group who have recently been to ebola-affected West African countries from attending the group’s annual conference in New Orleans next week.
Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints have to find a way to win on the road if they plan to take over first place in the NFC South.
"It is obvious that Louisiana economic performance has not outperformed the South or the United States as a whole and, in fact, has substantially underperformed..."