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We are a world of comparisons. And when it comes to understanding the implications something has on our health, what better way to drill it through people’s heads than to compare it to something that has, for decades, been shown to significantly harm health and even cause death?
I am referring to sugar, which many are now referring to as ‘the new tobacco.’ Our overconsumption of this sweet substance has created a health crisis that only stands to worsen unless we change our ways. Sugar consumption has skyrocketed by 30% in the last 30 years, with the average American adult consuming 22 teaspoons of it daily. And children are faring even worse, consuming a whopping 32 teaspoons every day. To put thatinto perspective, the WHO recommends just six teaspoons daily.
The soda industry, much like the tobacco industry, profits by selling products that are known to be both unhealthy and directly correlated to many diseases. But, unlike tobacco, soda consumption is still considered to be acceptable in moderation. Yet plenty of research has shown that refined sugar is biologically additive, and many would argue that in the coming years, it will become clear that soda should be avoided altogether.
To think that the simple pleasure of picking up a can of soda and slurping it down on a regular basis is an addiction seems extreme, but that is the reality for many people. So how exactly did so many of us become dependent on getting our soda fix?
We know that soda isn’t water. But when we drink it, we often fail to realize just how much sugar, and calories, we’re ingesting. We’ve been well-informed in recent years just how bad sugar is, even warned to stay away from it at all costs, as it can lead to weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, and teeth and bone damage.
“People who drink this ‘liquid candy’ do not feel as full as if they had eaten the same calories from solid food and do not compensate by eating less,” explains Harvard researchers.