Soda, or, pop has been making massive popularity in the news since the modernisation of health facilities and awareness of the public about their health factors. People consuming such sugary and carbonated beverages have been diagnosed with many health issues such as obesity, Type 2 diabetes, and other heart-related diseases. Many studies have linked drinking soda to cancer and deaths from heart disease. A lot of debates have happened over the banning of such soft drinks and artificially sweetened drinks or at the very least, putting a tax on these ‘coke’ (generalised after the drink from the brand Coca-Cola) products.
The American Beverage Association, which works on behalf of industry giants like Coca-Cola and Pepsi, finally lost its battle against the nationwide call for putting a tax on soda drinks. Philadelphia became the first major U.S. city to pass a soft drink tax, and a new report from Beverage Marketing Corp. found that bottled water will soon surpass soda as the nation’s most popular beverage. Though the taxation and awareness of health risks have made consumers beware of buying such carbonated drinks, there hasn’t been much change in the health department. Every other day new surveys and researches come up with their studies on how soda drinks are still affecting people and continuing their effect of obesity and cardiovascular diseases.
According to Janice Maras, research manager in the Department of Health Sciences, who specialises in dietary data analysis and oversees the Dietary Assessment Center at Northeastern University, tax on soda or pop cannot change much in the lifestyle of people who love soda. However, the upheaval that has been caused by the media and internet about this taxation on these sweetened drinks has grabbed people’s attention towards the health risks related to the drink. She highly recommends replacing soda with water.
She also analysed the factors luring people to buy soda and thereby making this tax on soda a failure. She explained, “When it is cheaper to buy a can of soda in a convenience store or gas station than a healthier option, many low-income people will purchase it. Many people in the South lack the resources to obtain healthier options due to lack of available supermarkets and consequently seek out the local gas station for soft drinks high in sugar that not only cause weight gain but are a major contributor to heart disease and diabetes.”
Maras also advised that health professionals working in minority communities, where knowledge about such health risks is scarce, must make the people aware about soda and its health risks. Therefore, water is the best choice; the cheapest and the healthiest. Nothing can ever substitute water.