Every once in a while some statistics come along which really make you sit up and take notice. So it was with information, which was posted about sodas. It is worth remembering that sodas first appeared on the scene a bit over a century ago. Humans survived for thousands of years without them. They serve no useful purpose in the body with the exception of temporarily pleasing the taste buds.
From a standing start in the late 1800’s the consumption figures are now as follows:
Americans consume 50 billion liters a year. This equates to 216 liters (57 gallons) per person each year.
Australians consume 100 liters per person each year.
The Irish consume 126 liters per person per year.
The Japanese are more restrained at only 21 liters a year.
Average world consumption is 89 liters per person per year.
This is staggering. Apart from being amazing statistics it is highly relevant in the arguments over health care. Chronic diseases such as arthritis, heart disease diabetes and obesity are responsible for 75% of the spending on disease care. In turn excessive intake of calories is the main contributor to these diseases.
Sodas have high sugar content. A can of soda has on average 10 teaspoons of sugar. There is also caffeine in many of them. One estimate has put sugars from sodas as contributing 21% of the total average sugar intake for Americans.
If we think about this for a moment, it means that the average American could reduce their sugar intake by over one fifth by cutting out sodas! The figures will vary in other countries but will still be significant in many countries.
This is not about demonizing soda drinkers or manufacturers. The makers have legal businesses and a legitimate interest in promoting and selling their products. If people choose to drink sodas, that is a choice they make.
Health is often made complex. This complexity adds to the cost and makes people feel powerless to do much to alter their situation. Here is a classic example of where simple action can and will make a huge difference.
Just stop drinking soda or at least slash consumption to one can a week as a treat if you really enjoy it. This is neither difficult nor costly. It does not require whole of government action or complex programs. All that is needed is for the individual to drink water instead of soda.
The benefits to your body will be enormous. You will in one decision slash your sugar intake. This will help your heart, your liver,your kidneys and brain to name but four vital organs. As a bonus it is likely that you will also save money .It is also very likely that you will be surprised at how much better you will look and feel.
Medical Doctor, author, speaker, media presenter and health industry consultant, Dr Joe Kosterich wants you to be healthy and get the most out of life.
Joe writes for numerous medical and mainstream publications, is clinical editor at Medical Forum Magazine, and is also a regular on radio and television.
Joe is Medical Advisor to Medicinal Cannabis Company Little Green Pharma, Chairman of Australian Tobacco Harm Reduction Association and sits on the board of Arthritis and Osteoporosis WA. He is often called to give opinions in medico legal cases.