“Research has linked unbalanced soda consumption to obesity, Type 2 diabetes, coronary artery disease, stroke, dental disease, bone disease, depression, gout, asthma, cancer and premature death. These links, as Nestle clearly points out, are more correlative than causative. But all those correlations add up. To Big Soda’s ‘just one won’t hurt’ head fake, Nestle counters with a frightening totality of evidence. A study she cites estimates that sugar-sweetened beverages are responsible for 184,000 obesity-related deaths per year.”
This review got me to buy the book, because the writer praised the thing for putting science and fact above activism. It already seems obvious that drinking lots of sweetened sodas is Medically-Contraindicated regardless of your personal or family health industry; I’ve been more curious to find out if the beverage industries have operated in as shady a fashion as the tobacco industry did.
I made “no sweetened soda inside the house” a Mission Rule way back in my late Twenties, when I realized that it probably wasn’t in my longterm best interests to reach for a Coke Classic every time I took a break from writing. Lately, I’ve been transitioning to flavored seltzers, though diet sodas are still a staple grocery item.
I wish one of these books would analyze the arguments against artificially-sweetened drinks. I’ve read articles that “sound good” but most of them appear to have the same factual credibility as someone saying “Even in its purest laboratory form, every molecule of water consists of almost seventy percent hydrogen. Hydrogen is a primary component in rocket fuel and is also used in the industrial production of petroleum products. It’s also highly corrosive to metals.”
As-is, the only really strong argument I’ve read against diet sodas came from Alton Brown:
Diet soda is the big lie. Tells your brain you need high levels of sweetness. May be 0 calorie but I still think it’s highly harmful stuff
— Alton Brown (@altonbrown)
That is, drinking Diet Dr. Pepper isn’t dangerous in and of itself, but it programs your brain to want other things that taste sweet. It’s an interesting suggestion.