Soda Facts 101
Research has proven a direct relationship between consumption of sugary drinks and an increase in obesity, which promotes diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and many other health problems.
Now you know the plight of The Real Bears. Real human families should also know about the risks of drinking too much soda. Here are the unhappy facts.
"There is no scientific evidence
that connects sugary beverages
Truth: Each additional sugary drink consumed per day increases the likelihood of a child becoming obese by about 60%. Sugary drinks are connected to other health problems
Truth: Each soda consumed per day increases the risk of heart disease by 19% in men.
Truth: Drinking one or two sugary drinks per day increases your risk for type 2 diabetes by 25%.
Truth: Diabetes can lead to erectile dysfunction.
"If you're consuming the calories
from the banana and there is the
same number of calories as in a beverage that you consume, the impact on your body is calories
Truth: Liquid calories are more conducive to weight gain than solid calories, because the human body doesn't compensate by reducing calorie intake later in the day.
Truth: Sugary drinks are the single-largest source of calories
in the American diet, providing an average of about 7 percent of total calories per person, and that average includes all the people who rarely drink them. The percentage of calories from sugary drinks is much higher for people who consume them often—such as several times a day.
Truth: Most sugary drinks are devoid of nutrition—vitamins, minerals, protein, or fiber—and contain only empty calories.
Truth: It would take the average adult over one hour of walking to burn off the 240 calories in a 20-ounce Coke.
Truth: Americans consume about 38 pounds of sugar from sugary drinks each year.
"At The Coca-Cola Company, we know our business can only be as strong and sustainable and healthy
as the communities we serve."
Truth: If communities were healthier, Coca-Cola Co. would
be selling a lot fewer Cokes. The tripling of sugary carbonated drink consumption since the mid-1950s is one of the major causes of obesity.
Truth: Between 20% and 50% of the approximately 300 calories Americans have added to their diets in the past 30 years is attributable to increasing sugary drink consumption, now at
an average of 178 calories for men and 103 calories for women per day.
Truth: Coca-Cola plans to spend more than $21 billion over
the next five years to expand its business in just four countries: China, India, Brazil, and Mexico—which will undermine the health of "the communities we serve."
Truth: When Congress was considering a soda tax to help pay for health-care reform and improve the health of communities, Big Soda increased its lobbying expenses by 3,000% over the 2005 levels.
Truth: Big Soda gives generously to community groups, organizations of public officials, minority groups, and medical and health groups to influence policy positions and discourage criticism of the companies for undermining the health of communities. It often "changes the conversation" by focusing on building playgrounds and encouraging physical activity.
"[O]ur member companies do not advertise beverages other than
juice, water or milk-based drinks
to any audience that is comprised predominantly of children under
Truth: Not only do children under 12 see Coke and Pepsi logos everywhere, but Coca-Cola Co. promotes its products heavily at Disneyland, on American Idol, and on telecasts of the Olympics, all of which are seen by huge numbers of
young children. Also, they sell kids' tee-shirts, toys, games,
and stuffed animals with Coca-Cola logos at its web store,
and the company licenses similar kid-friendly products at
Toys "R" Us, and elsewhere.
Truth: Coke has long reached millions of young children by marketing its drinks at child-friendly fast food restaurants, including McDonald's, the home of Happy Meals.
Truth: While soda companies, thankfully, have not advertised on TV shows intended for little kids, they have spent heavily to get their brand names onto school scoreboards and their products into elementary, middle, and high schools. An internal 1995 Coke newsletter exclaimed, "The Coca-Cola Company is focusing upon the education market with revitalized efforts around the world." Only recently did
public pressure force them to stop.
Truth: Soft drink companies do market aggressively to teens. According to the Federal Trade Commission, in 2006, companies spent $474 million marketing carbonated beverages directly to adolescents-more than twice the marketing budget for any other consumable product.
"Coca-Cola is an excellent complement to the habits
of a healthy life."
Truth: Coca-Cola and other colas undermine that healthy
life with loads of obesity-promoting high-fructose corn
syrup, mildly addictive caffeine, caramel coloring with its carcinogenic 4-methylimidazole contaminant, and tooth-rotting phosphoric acid.
Unfortunately, this is no lie:
"There is a large portion of the population that relies on the carbohydrates and energy in
our regular beverages."
Truth: Far too many people do rely too much on soft drinks for their calories. Sugary drinks' empty calories displace healthier foods, and Americans already consume hundreds more calories per day on average than they did 30 years ago.
Truth: Two-thirds of American adults and one-third of children are overweight or obese.
Truth: The American Heart Association urges Americans to consume 60% less sugary drinks by 2020.
Truth: Overall, males 12 to 19 years old consume 273 calories per day from sugary drinks; female teens down 171 per day.
Want to dive deeper into the facts? Download Soda Facts 101 with citations here