Soft Drinks and Kids

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Walk into just about any grocery store in America and you will find an aisle dedicated to soft drinks, with a much smaller section dedicated to all other beverages. Walk into just about any restaurant in America and you will find yourself with the choices of Coke products or Pepsi offering free refills on these prices at a reasonably cheep price.  If you can locate on the menu where other beverages are located such as natural juices or milk you will also find that the price is considerably  higher and refills are extra if offered.  Walk into a local corner store and you will find sales on soft drinks two for 99 cents! However reach for  the milk or some juice you will find yourself spending two or even three dollars for a personal size drink.  According to eatright.org “In 2009 sales of carbonated beverages totaled $18.7 billion—that is about $5 billion more than total milk sales!”

Most parents will not give their kids a cup of coffee due to the drug caffeine but we will allow our kids to drink enough caffeine in a day.  Although caffeine is not harmful in moderation it can have a number of adverse side effects if too much is consumed  in both kids and adults it can cause  jitteriness and nervousness, upset stomach, headaches, difficulty concentrating, difficulty sleeping, increased heart rate, increased blood pressure or dehydration.  The amount of caffeine to cause these affects are depends on the the indvidual but the amount is a lot lower in children then in adults.

Soft drinks also contains a large amount of sugars and sweeteners that is not good for kids’ growing body.  Kids who drink one or more soft drink a day are more likely to be obese.  Kids who consume the empty calories in soft drinks is more likely not to drink milk that is needed to build strong bones and teeth.  While simultaneously  breaking down the enamel in their teeth causing cavities.

Fluid intake is important for children’s cognitive functioning and they are still developing their thirst mechanism so hydration is important.  Kids also tend to be more physically active which adds to the increase fluid loss.  However, water being an obvious choice for fluid replenishment isn’t necessarily the preferred choice.  According to the article “Promoting Drinking Habits in Children” kids drink 7 times more soft drinks than they do water.

Resources:

http://kidshealth.org/parent/growth/feeding/child_caffeine.html#

http://www.eatright.org/kids/article.aspx?id=6442468566

http://www.nursingtimes.net/Journals/2012/10/05/r/q/m/091012-Promoting-healthy-drinking-habits-in-children.pdf

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15549642

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19064530

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