Counting Cans | Teen Ink

Counting Cans

February 26, 2014
By Amandaa_126 SILVER, Cannon Falls, Minnesota
Amandaa_126 SILVER, Cannon Falls, Minnesota
7 articles 0 photos 1 comment

Fay Hokulani once said “I don't believe in diet sodas; Diet Pepsi and Diet Coke are still sodas. If you’re on a diet why are you drinking soda?” Not only are sodas fattening, but diet soda poses an even greater threat than regular sodas. First, it’s vital to look at why people drink diet soda, next, the negative effects on ones health and finally, what can be done to decrease the impact diet sodas are having.

Everyone who drinks diet soda regularly thinks it’s harmless, perhaps they have not been properly been informed of how bad it actually is. People think it’s good because it tastes sugary, fizzy, and has zero calories, so what could possibly be bad about something as marvelous as this? As I interviewed an anonymous source, asking her what is so enjoyable about this soda, she responded that half way through the work day when her energy is running low, a zip of caffeine gives her a nice spark of well needed energy that can get her through the rest of the day. She also added that “It’s a habit and the day just doesn't feel right without it.” Many people who drink diet sodas feel the same way. It has a sweet, tangy taste, but there is a never ending list of reasons why one shouldn't drink diet soda.

There are many studies and statistics proving how negatively diet soda affects your health. Harvard Health Publications cited a Harvard University study on February 21, 2012 in which several women had two diet cokes a day for about three days and found a dramatic affect on their kidneys. The researchers could see study participants kidney function already declining after those three days. Three of the many things your kidneys do are the following: control blood pressure, remove waste and fluids, and keep bones healthy. The acid in diet soda even makes your teeth rot away, as was written in an article by Mandy Oaklander from MSN Healthy Living. Ms. Oaklander said “Acid dissolves tooth enamel, just because it’s diet doesn't make it acid light”. Diet soda also increases the probability of metabolic syndrome. MSN Healthy Living also reported on the University of Minnesota study of 10,000 adults that had one can of diet coke a day; just this one can a day was linked to 34 percent higher risk of metabolic syndrome. Mayo clinic defines metabolic syndrome as a cluster of conditions that include increased blood pressure, excess body fat around the waist and increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Is that one can really worth it? Yahoo news reported on January 23, 2014 that there were protests requesting the FDA ban caramel coloring that is added to sodas like Coke and Pepsi. The Center For Science In The Public Interest reports on how the caramel coloring is known to give animals cancer, so why do people subject themselves to a risk that can be prevented? Another thing that is added to diet coke and is very harmful is artificial sweeteners. The sweeteners create problems with the body making the hormone GLP-1. GLP-1 is a hormone that protects the heart and regulates the blood pressure, which makes it crucial to a healthy body. One surveyed person said “I drink diet coke from the minute I get up to the minute I go to bed!” Diet sodas become a lifestyle and are highly addicting for many people, but the option to stop is always there.
WebMd talks about how soda is the main drink that is sold at vending machines and

fast food restaurants. When the number one thing being sold is soda, its hard to have another alternative. Substituting green tea, water, or certain kinds of juices can make a huge difference. Health experts say the problem is that some soda drinkers don’t drink their soda in moderation. For some people limiting the amount of cans in the first step. Start by decreasing consumption to one can a day and then gradually have none. Finding another way to get that “zip” of energy in the afternoon can be helpful as well. Try taking a quick walk or munching on a low calorie snack.

Much research has been done that proves how terrible diet soda is for the body. As people become educated about the effects of diet soda they begin to rethink their daily habit. Fay Hokulani said it well, diet soda is really not for anyone who is on a diet, if you are on a diet why are you drinking soda?

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