The aim of our research is to focus on the side effects of carbonated drinks in order to create awareness for every consumer who wants to secure their upcoming future from the hazards of carbonated drinks, commonly called “soft drinks.”
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The need for research was felt, as it is one of the neglected areas, so by further research in this regard would surely help in creating awareness, educating the mass and in the development of preventive, promotional and curative health program in the community. As the knowledge of our people, particularly students regarding the side effects by the consumption of carbonated drinks is not satisfactory. The attitude of students is relatively better but their practices are neither preventive nor health promoting. Thus, there is a need of ‘Behavioral Change’ in youngsters.
Before discussing the causes and effects of carbonated beverages let us, know what the attitude is. Attitude towards something is very important for human life because facilitates communication between people. It is one of the important attribute of a person which communicates his first impression on others and the kind of personality he possesses. Personality type is one of the crucial elements in shaping an individual’s life. Therefore, attitude towards something is very important to be determined at initials so that in upcoming stages of life an individual may learn and shape his attitude accordingly.
Therefore, to change the attitude of people towards something, awareness is the first step and one of the efficient tools to help people learn and educate very effectively by providing them knowledge and by throwing light and exploring unexplored issues, which are directly or indirectly affect our lives. One of the important but neglected issues in our lives is of health. We like to suffer from problems and diseases first and then go for solutions; this type of approach is called as post approach. We as a nation is in need to adopt pre-approach especially in the field of health .One of the great saying defines the best:
“Prevention is better than cure.”
Carbonated Beverages are those drinks which have carbon dioxide (a colorless and tasteless gas) in it excluding alcohol. Among all the soft drinks colas are the most popular one. The ingredients in such colas are sweeteners, and chemicals such as carbonic and phosphoric acids, citric acid which harms teeth and causes weakness of bone. Colas contain a reasonable amount of caffeine. Caffeine is a natural diuretic and so can actually make a person thirstier and encourage dehydration.
Variety of soft drinks is consumed by a high percentage of population on daily basis. The consumption of soft drinks in greatest quantity has been observed mostly in children and adolescents. In the current study, the knowledge base of students regarding the harmful effects of carbonated drinks is not satisfactory. William Frazier says:
“In order to neutralize a glass of cola, it takes 32 glasses of high pH alkaline water.”
In the 1840s, carbonated water began having flavorings added to it. By the turn of the 1900s, Carbonated Beverages had become a part of a typical western consumer’s drink choices. Originally, Carbonated Beverages were seen as healthy, or a way to distribute healthful creation in a way that made them pleasant and convenient to drink. Carbonated drinks were marketed as a digestive support as late as the 1950s.Then, they came to be seen as junk foodstuff as the term in essence came to mean “soda pop”.
Now (2007), parts of the Carbonated Beverage industry are trying to rebrand themselves as Energy drinks, and natural drinks such as water, juices and various teas have been carbonated. Probably the first carbonated drink to be sold in a Can was Cliquot Club brand ginger ale, in 1938. (practically edible.com)
In medical and scientific field there is a going concern about the causes and effects of carbonated drinks on the health of consumers but unfortunately until yet their harmful effects have not been explored widely. Still some of the researchers have identified harmful effects of cola on health but they are unable to increase awareness in consumers may be because they are not given a space to expose.
According to the study of Himalayan Institute of Medical Science (H.I.M.S.), Dehradun, about 92.10% of the medical students and 95.08% of the nursing students had ever heard about the carbonated drinks. The aim of the study was to assess the awareness, attitude and practices of students regarding carbonated drinks. (Kishore, Aggarwal, & Muzammil, Oct-December 2009)
A clear association has been found in a meta-analysis of 88 studies between the soft drink consumption with increased body weight. Increased soft drink consumption was also found to be associated with decreased calcium intake and increased risk of numerous medical problems e.g., diabetes. Thus, a strong relation was found between soft drink intake and nutrition and health effects. (Vartanian, Schwartz, & Brownell, 2007)
In a number of observational studies and reports it was concluded that carbonated beverages are associated with the risk of reduced bone mass and increased fractures. Researchers examined that particularly colas were found to have strong link among other carbonated beverages and the reason of such adverse effect is the content that is phosphoric acid found in the carbonated beverages. (Heaney & Rafferty, 2001)
A study was done to examine the cause of osteoporosis and the research concluded that the consumption of cola is associated with low Bone Mineral Density (BMD) in women. (Tucker, Kyoko, Qiao, Hannan, & Kiel, 2006)
However, the relationship between the milk and risk of bone fracture, and consumption of soft drink with osteoporosis in women and children found to be inversely and directly proportional respectively. However, knowing the fact of these relationship women and children are still moving towards extra-consumption of soft drinks and declining milk attitudes has shown promptly. (Squirres, Sally)
High consumption of carbonated drinks increases the tendency of osteoporosis especially in children and women. Phosphoric acid and citric acid are the two main acidic contents that play the dramatically role in increasing the proneness of bone fracture. The phosphoric acid removes those nutritious mineral whereby the bones weaken and so in aggressive conditions results in break of bones. A survey conducted on a large number of athlete women who consumes carbonated drinks in order to examine the effects of carbonated beverages. They find that acidic contents are the main cause of dissolving calcium from bones. (Spencer, Kramer, & Osis, 1988)
Leeann Birch, a researcher from Pennsylvania State University, has found that soft drinks frequently displace nutritious beverages, such as milk and juices, Because of such displacement of drinking choice especially youngsters are unable to meet their current milk requirement, which is needed at every stage for human body growth.
The noticeably increment of the childhood obesity in this generation must be taken seriously by the parents of those children. Not only the obesity problems but also various problems are just resulted by the high consumption of carbonated beverages taken by them. These health problems may include diabetes, tooth decay, osteoporosis, and many neurological disorders. Children usually exposed to drink soda pops as junk food. They have the ability adopt the attitude of what others to something and if they feel pleasure, they make their attitude as a habit. Mostly youngsters are more addictive of such drinks just because of their attitudes of consuming carbonated drinks in surprising quantity without having the knowledge of risk associated with it. (Kishore, Aggarwal, & Muzammil, Oct-December 2009). In this regard, a research conducted by the team of Harvard Researchers they found that 14-year-olds children who did not drinks habitually were less likely to be obese than those who use to take drink soft.
Carbonated beverages may cause significant long-term enamel dissolution and were found to be more aggressive towards enamel then coffee or tea. (Fraunhofer & Rogers, 2004)
Excessive consumption of soft drinks can cause complex dental consequences including dental erosion and caries, both conditions may result in harmful effects on dental hard tissues. (Cheng, Yang, & Shao, 2009)
We have found two causes of the dissolution of enamel. The general reasons given by dentists are the low pH value, amount of sugars and variety of addictives in carbonated drinks leads to the dissolution of enamel. The consumption of such drinks affects enamel, a hard thin calcium-containing layer that covers and protects the crown of a tooth. Numerous surveys are conduct in this regard. A young boy examined in this regard in 2002, who consumed more than two beverages per day, reported uncontrolled dental decay during operation at computer terminal.
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Secondly, it has found that soft drinks are more harmful for enamel in mostly two conditions: when taking alone and continual sipping. However, during food time soft drinks cannot affect as much as when it takes alone. During food, our mouth secreted saliva whereby the acids and the sugar does not retain on dental enamel but retained when drinking alone, this is happen more likely by cola drinks than other beverages, results in starting tooth decay.
It is a common problem, associated with the consumption of a large number of soft drinks, in which acid level increases throughout the body. All carbonated drinks are very acidic in taste; particularly dark colas such as Coke and Pepsi are much more acidic. (Kishore, Aggarwal, & Muzammil, Oct-December 2009)
There is a news article, which has published in Al-Riyadh newspaper on August 20, 2006, in which it is stated that according to scientific and medical research:
“Drinking Pepsi and Cola leads to cancer because the key element is taken from Pigs Sausage. The heavenly book Qur’an, Bible and Torah forbids eating Pork, as it is the only animal that eats dirt, dung and urine, which makes lethal and deadly fabric polluted germs and microbes.”
The Indian University performed tests on the impact of consumption of Pepsi and Coca Cola, which proved that drinking them, lead to more rapid heart rate and low pressure. Bones kept in the cup of Pepsi soften during the week knowing that the bones of the dead remain in the grave for thirty years. Study itself confirmed that the calcium dissolved in Pepsi and it weakens the bladder, kidneys; kill the pancreas, lead to diabetes and contagious diseases. (pegham.com)
A study was conducted on carbonated beverages and among all the soft drinks, Coke and Pepsi were taken in consideration. Some, but not all, carbonated drinks were linked to about 50-80% of higher risk of pancreatic cancer when consumption is done on regular basis with 1+ serving. Thus, the study concluded that a strong relationship was found between carbonated drinks and the risk of pancreatic cancer. (Chan, Wang, & Holly, 2009)
According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (Dr.Ambumani Ramadoss) has clarified the steps that Government has taken from the JPC Report of 2003.After the JPC’s Report standards were fixed to these carbonated drinks, namely, Coke, Pepsi or other later drinks. India was one of the first countries in the world to fix standards for carbonated drinks. (Kishore, Aggarwal, & Muzammil, Oct-December 2009)
Also in most of the observational studies, colas are seen to be strongly associated with the risk of increased bone fracture. In many western countries, the use of milk is declining because of increased consumption of soft drinks and fruit juices, resulting in unhealthy routine as milk and water are the essential products for daily life and should be consumed on daily basis for proper growth and health.
One of the key point that all of us must consider is, that over utilization of anything should be avoided especially when something is related to human health as we all know: “Health is Wealth”. Therefore, awareness is the first step to understand the difference between right and wrong, good and bad, harmful and beneficial.
Adolescents and kids don’t think long-term, it’s the duty of adult people or the people who have the knowledge regarding this neglected issue, should educate the mass about it so that our young generation may know and understand harmful effects of carbonated drinks and may change their attitude towards such drinks. They may reduce the consumption of cola carbonated beverages or they might completely switch to nutritious drinks like milk and juices. However, if consumers won’t change their attitude towards soft drink consumption then that may result in increased health problems like obesity and osteoporosis and at that time when they have got into these health problems then changing attitude or opting for healthy drinks will be too late to help.
Healthier drinks are generally replaced by soda. By high consumption of soda you cut the intake of fruit juices, milk and even water and withdraw yourself from essential vitamins and minerals, which are the key ingredients for healthy life. Healthy people always have the attitude that they go for healthy things and there are so many healthy alternatives available such as water, tea and fruit juices. Water is the best alternative as it reduces the thirst and serves as the best drink of all the drinks in the universe as it contains natural elements.
Another alternative of soft drinks can be tea, which can provide safety in our body as it contains antioxidants, which helps in fighting health problems. Now, variants of tea such as green tea is available in different flavors like herbs and lemon, considered as a helping tool in reducing weight. Another good alternative of soft drinks can be fruit juices as they are pure and rich in vitamins. Thus, there are many healthy and nutritious alternative drinks are available so we as a consumer must go for such drinks, as they are beneficial to us in form of growth and development of our body and mind, which is the essence of life.
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