Dr. Zaslow weighs in on short and long term effects of consuming carbonated soft drinks.
Article Link: Should kids drink soda? (yahoo.com)
Research has linked a soda habit with a higher risk of obesity in adults, but it’s never been studied in kids, who are usually targeted by the soft drink industry. Now, a massive new study published in the journal Pediatrics has also found kids who drink soda regularly are more likely to have obesity — and experts say that’s concerning.
The study, which was published Monday, analyzed data from 405,528 teens around the age of 14 in 107 different countries and regions. While rates of obesity varied by country (from 3.3% in Cambodia to 64% in the Polynesia island of Niue), there was a strong link between having at least one soda a day and having obesity.
Worth noting: A 12-ounce can of regular Coca-Cola has 140 calories and 39 grams of sugar (or 78% of the recommended dietary guidelines for adults); a 12-ounce can of Pepsi has 150 calories and 41 grams of sugar.
“Soda has empty calories, so it doesn’t give any nutritional support, but it’s tasty so you can consume a lot of calories,” Dr. Tracy Zaslow, a pediatrician and pediatric sports medicine specialist at Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute in Los Angeles, tells Yahoo Life. “Water is the best beverage kids and adults can have.”
Soda can have a big impact on kids in the short-term. “You get a sugar rush — there’s an increase in blood sugar and possibly the effect of caffeine,” Zaslow says. “When that sugar high wears off, a child can have mental fogginess and mood changes. They may be really grumpy or irritable.”