Harmful Effects of Soda

Macy Price, Student Writer


Picture this…it’s lunchtime and you go to your favorite restaurant. You walk inside and are seated at the best table there. The server asks you, “What would you like to drink?” Of course, nothing satisfies your thirst better than an ice cold soda. The reality is, getting into the habit of drinking soda on a regular basis is detrimental to your health. And, while the consequences of drinking soda may seem small at first, over time with steady consumption, a person’s health will really take a beating.


To put things into better perspective, on any given day, half of all Americans are going to consume at least one soda. 5% of them will consume over 550 calories because of their soda consumption. Averaging just one can of a sugary beverage per day adds a 20% higher risk of having a heart attack. Sugar-sweetened beverages or SSB consumption is also associated with less healthy behaviors in people. Adults and adolescents who smoke, don’t get enough sleep, don’t exercise much, eat fast food often and who do not eat fruit regularly are more likely to be frequent consumers of SSBs. Additionally, adolescents who frequently drink SSBs also have more screen time overall, according to a report from the CDC.


Yet, many people are aware of these facts and the bad effects of drinking soda and only continue to indulge without thinking twice. This is due to how soft drinks are made, with exactly the right amount of sweetener, caffeine, and carbonation to make you want to drink more and more. According to studies by Gary Wenk, director of neuroscience undergraduate programs at Ohio State University, “The sugar in the drinks… swish through the brain, you get the dopamine rewarding you, and then the effect of dopamine surge is gone almost as fast as it arrived, leaving your brain wanting more.” These companies creating all of your favorite soft drinks know exactly how to make the products you are consuming addictive, so that you will drink more and they will make more money. They have no regard for the health of their customers, and put in additives to their drinks that get people to buy more, paying non attention to the bad side effects and health problems they are ensuing in their loyal customers.


In order to live a healthier life people need to start making changes in their everyday life. Start small, then it is always easier to make bigger changes in the future. Try indulging in special sweet drinks once a month, or only during special occasions and then cut them out completely. Or, find a drink that you enjoy just as much as soda, (that is healthier) to drink when you’re feeling the need to drink something sweet. Also, get some rest, if the human brain is well-rested you are much more likely to not crave a sugary, caffeinated drink, than if your brain is sleepy. After all, giving up soda will change your life for the better. Your teeth, brain, bones, and body will thank you!