It’s a hot, sweaty day and you’ve just finished doing whatever sweaty people do, probably leaping from tree to tree or herding brumbies in the Outback. You’re thirsty. Advertising tells you that you can only quench that thirst with a Solo, but then mum’s voice echoes through your mind, something about soft drink (or soda POP for our foreign friends) being bad for you, rotting your teeth and insides. So, let’s take both sides with a pinch of salt, and see what science says about the issue.
Food related studies are always a great source of debate and contention, because the food industry may fund a study and sometimes those industry-funded studies will be influenced to downplay the results that were found. Before you go spouting that “science” has “proven” that soft drinks are super healthy for you, check the source of the study.
Apart from increases in; caloric intake, body weight, and tooth erosion, what else can soft drinks do to our bodies? Soft drinks have a high glycaemic index (GI), which is not shocking at all, but this can stimulate appetite for other high GI foods. Numerous studies support this idea and show a positive link between soft drink and high GI food consumption, such as pizzas and hamburgers, and even a negative link to overall healthy eating.
You may be thinking, “Oh, but I only have a can a day, that can’t do much harm … can it?”. Well, that’s where you might be wrong; a study following just over 90,000 US women for 8 years showed that those who consumed one or more servings per day were at twice the risk of developing diabetes than those who consumed less than one serving per month.
And yes, the soft drink in your vodka raspberries at Ivy do count, and are probably the reason why you crave Macca’s on the way home.