Why We Should Never Let Kid Drink Soda?
The United States hasn’t developed guidelines for caffeine intake and kids, but Canadian guidelines recommend that preschoolers get no more than 45 milligrams of caffeine a day. That’s equivalent to the average amount of caffeine found in a single 12-ounce (355-milliliter) can of soda.
HOW CAFFEINE AFFECTS KIDS
A stimulant that affects kids and adults similarly, caffeine is naturally produced in the leaves and seeds of many plants. Caffeine is also made artificially and added to certain foods. Caffeine is defined as a drug because it stimulates the central nervous system. At lower levels, it can make people feel more alert and energetic.
SODA IS ADDICTIVE
The addictive properties of soda come from a number of its ingredients–first, the caffeine. Caffeine is the the most commonly used mood-altering drug in the world, says a report from Johns Hopkins. The report goes on to say caffeine produces a physical dependence. Those experiencing this admit to altered moods and not being able to quit caffeine, despite wanting to. Children are not immune to this dependence, and some might even say they are more susceptible to caffeine’s effects due to their smaller body weight.
SODA HAS NO NUTRITIONAL VALUE
Although this may seem obvious, soda is not providing much needed nutrition to our bodies. It does, however, provide empty calories and can suppress the appetite. Consuming soda may cause children to eat less of the foods they need to fuel their bodies. Those who drink soda regularly are also more likely to get less than the recommended amount of vitamin A, calcium, and magnesium, an important mineral to overall health.
SODA IS HARMING CHILDREN’S BRAINS
A child’s brain is developing throughout adolescence. When a kid drinks soda, they are consuming chemicals that are altering their brain. MSG can be hiding in the citric acid of soda, as well as in the artificial flavors. This excitotoxin has been shown to damage the neurons in the brain of mice. In addition, high levels of excitotoxins have been linked to brain tumours, diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, brain damage, learning disorders and behavioral problems.
SODA IS WEAKENING KIDS’ BONES
Drinking soda can actually deplete bones of much needed calcium. Phosphorus, a common ingredient in soda, leads to bone loss when in disproportionate levels to calcium. Caffeine is also a culprit here, as it isknown to interfere with the absorption of calcium and bone density. Kids who drink soda are not likely to consume the necessary amount of milk or other calcium rich beverages.
SODA IS CAUSING BAD BEHAVIOR
The possible reasons for behavior issues from children who drink soda are many. It could be from the caffeine, sugar, artificial colors, or blood sugar spikes and drops. According to a survey of more than 3000 mothers, children who drank soda were more aggressive, withdrawn, and had trouble paying attention.
SODA IS DESTROYING KIDS’ TEETH
Sugar isn’t good for teeth, and neither are the acids within soda. Both the citric acid and phosphorus can wear away tooth enamel and lead to decay. Combined with the addictive nature of soda, teeth can be frequently exposed to this harmful beverage and be at risk for tooth erosion.
SODA IS CONTRIBUTING TO CHILDHOOD DIABETES
Mice fed artificial sweeteners, like aspartame found in diet sodas, developed glucose intolerance, which can be an early sign of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. What’s more frightening, is simply drinking soda in moderation may not reduce the risk. As little as one single 12 ounce can of soda a day can increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 22%.
SODA CAN LEAD TO HEART DISEASE
When we are talking about children, heart disease rarely comes up in the conversation. However, with the news that just one soda a day can increase the risk of a cardiovascular event by 61%, it’s a conversation worth having. That same amount of soda is also linked to a 19% increase in heart disease. Considering the risk of a soda dependance, children who begin drinking soda are more likely to consume it regularly. Over the span of their lifetime they will consume far more soda than someone who began drinking it in adulthood, increasing their risks.
WHAT ARE THE ALTERNATIVES TO SODA?
When it comes to kids, water and milk are simply the best options. Fruit juices are certainly a better choice than soda, but be wary of sugar content. If your child is in need of something more than just these options, there are a number of healthier beverage alternatives.