According to a new study published in the American Journal of Public Health, drinking sodas has been found to be linked to a fast aging process. By analyzing stored DNA from more than 5,300 healthy Americans in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from some 14 years ago, researchers have revealed that drinking a 20-ounce bubbly beverage every day is linked to 4.6 years of additional aging. Interestingly, these results are similar to those that are linked to smoking. However, the cause-effect relationship has not been established yet. The studies regarding to the danger of sodas are continuously growing, what are your thoughts about the best way to decrease their consumption?
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Recognizing that they are a part of the obesity problem in the United States, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola Co, and Dr.Pepper Snapple Group have come to an agreement with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation to pledge to cut calories consumed by beverages by 20% by the year 2025. Their plan is to create smaller portion sizes, as well as promote water and non-calorie options more effectively. Due to a cap on sugary drink portions now in effect in New York, a soda ban in schools, and a possible tax on these soft drinks in San Francisco in the near future, this may be their attempt to stay appealing to customers. Since the peak of soda sales in 1998, the amount of calories consumed by Americans from sugary drinks has decreased by 23 percent due to an increased concern with our health. As the general population has become more conscious of disease states such as diabetes, they have started to opt for healthier options, including water and beverages that do not contain aspartame. Still, experts agree that more needs to be done in order to decrease obesity rates.
How do you feel about more aggressive government-instituted restrictions on these products? How comfortable would you be with instituting potential penalties on these companies if they cannot fulfill their promise by 2025?
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Consumer Reports, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, and the state of California announce that a chemical known as 4-methylimidazole or 4-Mel found in many soft drinks and foods may be carcinogenic. 4-Mel is labeled simply as “caramel coloring” on U.S. product labels and it gives foods its golden-brown color. The state of California has placed a limit on 4-Mel containing products to 29 micrograms. However, Consumer Reports has found that many products still exceeded the permitted limit and the same products outside of California contained amounts even greater. What is the best way to educate about dangers of consuming foods containing caramel coloring?
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Drinking diet beverages containing artificial sweeteners have been accused of altering the hormonal balance within the body, causing people to eat more. A recent study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health evaluated over 300 overweight adults who consumed greater than 280 calories per day of drinks, comparing the weight loss of individuals randomized into three different groups. One group subsituted two non-diet drinks per day with water, another group substituted two non-diet drinks with diet drinks (i.e. diet Coke), while the last group continued consuming non-diet drinks. After six months, both the group consuming water and the group consuming diet-drinks exhibited weight loss. It is important to note that the subjects in this study were all trying to lose weight. When evaluating research do you usually consider other variables that may affect the study outcome and may be difficult to control? What are your thoughts about this study?
Please visit Reuters to read more on this study.
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A new survey from the NPD group which tracks the American publics’ eating and drinking trends, found that young adults (18-24 years old) are in increasing numbers consuming coffee rather than soda to get their energy buzz. Although coffee has health benefits, it can be disruptive to one’s sleep cycles. When did you become aware of the negative aspects of soda consumption? Has your coffee consumption been affecting your sleeping pattern?
For additional information, please visit NPR. “Image courtesy of [creativedoxfoto]/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net”