George Costanza from “Seinfeld” may think “Soda” is a great child’s name. But its not such a great drink for your kids. Personally, I never drink carbonated soft drinks (CSD). The large consensus of data demonstrates a clear link of CSD and obesity. And, I will add, be careful what you read: if that article concludes otherwise, you should consider the source. Note the concentration of sugar in CSD here. We should also keep in mind that the sugars in CSD since 1984 have come from high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Why? Because its cheaper than sucrose, of course!! The beverage industry has long argued that “sugar is sugar.” However, strong and growing evidence strongly suggests otherwise.
We must also keep in mind the caffeine content of CSDs. Given the stresses and challenges to our children’s healthy sleep, I strongly urge parents to avoid all caffeine in children’s diets.
Some feel that diet soda and artificial sweeteners are the answer. The FDA does take the position “that aspartame is safe as a general purpose sweetener in food.” And the American Cancer Society has studied the subject carefully and has found no undue risk in their use. But there are persistent and mostly legitimate concerns. I advise against them.
By the way, when it comes to sugar, sports drinks (gatorade, powerade, others) aren’t necessarily much better. And even fruit juices can be loaded with calories.
The good news is that we as society seem to be getting the message. I encourage my parents to continue along those lines. My advise–some fruit juice with breakfast is fine. The rest of the day eat fruit for that nutrition–the fiber naturally contained with the juice is much healthier. The rest of the day drink water or club soda sweetened with lemon or lime, and low fat or skim milk.
Please send along questions or comments, and thanks for following.