To raise healthy and fit children, drop carbonated sodas from their eating habits.
As a child, I never drank any type of soft drink. They were even prohibited in school cafeterias. Like most adults, I later became addicted, maybe because I never liked coffee and used soda as an intake for caffeine.
I know it’s hard to believe a Cuban- American doesn’t drink coffee. I guess I was blessed not to like its taste as a youngster.
However, as an adult, I would easily drink up to four large glasses of diet soda at a restaurant. (Why not? They gave free refills!). I personally stopped drinking soda over 10 years ago and now feel much better for it.
I have never let my own children drink sodas or eat sweets. Today at 21 and 16 years of age, their taste buds are unused to them and they rarely, if ever, taste either one.
We now hear people are drinking more sodas than ever before, accounting for more than 25% of all beverages consumed in America. Fifty-six percent of eight-yearolds drink sodas every day. Refills are free in most restaurants; vending machines are everywhere, including most schools; and you see them advertised daily on billboards and on TV commercials.
Studies have shown that soft drinks can cause obesity, tooth decay, caffeine dependence and weakened bones. Even a few cans of soda can damage bone growth during adolescence. Phosphorus found in colas can deplete the bones of needed calcium, contributing to bone fractures in active children.
The internet carried an interesting story of a boy who weighed 500 pounds, drinking a case of soda daily. When he stopped, his weight started to go down.
Even a single soda each day can create a 10-pound weight gain in a year’s time. Large amounts of sugar can cause behavior problems in children. A 12-ounce can of cola contains 10 teaspoons of sugar. Supersized sodas sold in most fast food restaurants equal two or three regularly-sized drinks.
Diet sodas with sugar substitutes are just as bad for a child’s health, fitness and growth. A Purdue University research study reported that artificial sweeteners in diet soda will actually make you gain weight.
Various sodas nevertheless remain the preferred beverage of most people (59 % of all U. S. consumers like soft drinks). Yet this is still a very unhealthy habit for both children and adults.
Parents must lead by example. Stop consuming this unhealthy drink, and at least try to restrict your children’s intake as well.
Julio Anta, owner of Anta’s Fitness and Self Defense, has been changing lives in Doral since 1998. Contact him at 305-599- 3649 or at AntaKungFu.com.