Some of the stats above are just for fun, but they are interesting. The ones I think we should all pay attention to are the ones that relate to our health. Many of you reading this know that soda is bad for you, but seeing just how many liters the average American consumes in soda per year is truly astounding.
According to this, 216 liters are consumed every year by the average person in the United States. Japan drinks a tenth of that much! Is it surprising that Japan has the longest life expectancy in the world?
Let’s give you a little perspective on just how much 216 liters is. It is exactly 57.06 gallons! That is a lot of soda! That’s 7,296 ounces of soda or roughly 20 ounces per day per person.
Now, also consider that this is an average. That means it must take into account everyone, including the people who are not drinking any soda. So for every person that’s not drinking any soda there is a person drinking at least 40 oz. per day to make up the difference.
I know that some of you reading this know that soda is extremely bad for your health and that you don’t drink any of the stuff. That just goes to show you that there are plenty more people who regularly consume massive quantities of soda.
So why is soda so bad? When you drink these sugary beverages, your blood sugar spikes almost immediately. It spikes very high, too. Your body responds by secreting high levels of insulin. This forces your liver to begin the immediate process of turning all that extra sugar into fat. It is the storage of this fat that, over time, becomes extremely detrimental to health.
It is a proven fact that sugar increases your insulin levels, which can lead to not only weight gain, but also high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, premature aging and many more negative side effects.
People who are misinformed will point to the fact that soda is ‘fat free.’ True, it is fat free, but your body will convert that sugar to fat for storage. The body does not get rid of that excess sugar because it sees it as energy that could be used at a later date. People who consume large amounts of soda are setting themselves up to be overweight and under nourished.
The soda industry is a huge problem here in the US. It causes so many health issues and drives up the cost of health care. It does so by directly causing avoidable health issues such as diabetes, obesity and heart disease. I recommend that my patients never drink soda. In the rare occasion that they do have it, they should have a small amount. By the way, I define ‘rare occasion’ as once or twice per year