family health challenge

This month, we challenge you to limit your intake of soda and sugary drinks. Sugary drinks may be more dangerous than you think to your health. Just one serving of juice or a can of soda, can contain 200 calories! Even if your child is getting enough exercise, they may be struggling to eat a balanced diet due to the added calories. By drinking juice and soda, your child will be less hungry at mealtimes. This results in craving a snack later in the day, accompanied by more juice to fill them up.

Thinking about switching to diet soda? Don’t do it! Diet soda contributes to obesity just like regular soda.

Here are some of the risks associated with drinking diet soda:

Obesity

A University of Texas Health Science Center study found that the more diet sodas a person drank, the greater their risk of becoming overweight. Downing just two or more cans a day increased waistlines by 500%. Artificial sweeteners can disrupt the body’s natural ability to regulate calorie intake based on the sweetness of foods. That means people who consume diet foods might be more likely to overeat, because your body is being tricked into thinking it’s eating sugar, and you crave more.

Kidney Problems

In an 11-year-long Harvard Medical School study of more than 3,000 women, researchers found that diet cola is associated with a two-fold increased risk for kidney decline. Kidney function started declining when women drank more than two sodas a day. Even more interesting: Since kidney decline was not associated with sugar-sweetened sodas, researchers suspect that the diet sweeteners are responsible.

Messed-Up Metabolism

According to a 2008 University of Minnesota study of almost 10,000 adults, even just one diet soda a day is linked to a 34% higher risk of metabolic syndrome, the group of symptoms including belly fat and high cholesterol that puts you at risk for heart disease.

Click here for more information about the side effects of drinking diet soda.

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About the Author

Dr. Katalenas

Dr. Katalenas is a pediatrician and owner of The Pediatric Center of Round Rock and the author of the book "The Step Up Diet: From Scratch… The Quality, Quantity, and Timing Solution to Childhood Obesity", a guide to healthy cooking and eating for busy families.