Soda: Harming more than just your teeth and waistline

It is well known that the high sugar content in soda can cause cavities in your teeth and expand your waistlines, but did you know that consuming soft drinks might also increase your risk for asthma and/or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)?

A recent study examined approximately 17,000 people aged 16 and older in South Australia. Participants were asked about their consumption of soft drinks (such as soda, flavored mineral water, lemonade, Powerade and Gatorade).

Over 10% of participants reported on average the drink more than half a liter of soft drinks per day.

Researchers found that 13.3% of the participants with asthma and 15.6% of those with COPD consumed more than half a liter of soft drinks per day. This showed that people who consumed at least a half a liter of soft drinks a day were 1.2 times more likely to have asthma and 1.7 times more likely to have COPD than those who did not consume soft drinks.

The researchers concluded that the risk was dose-related, meaning the more soft drinks consumed, the greater the odds of having COPD or asthma. However, this study merely points out an associate, but does not establish a cause and effect relationship.

This study emphasizes the importance of a healthy diet to prevent chronic diseases like asthma and COPD.