Is your child drinking too much soda? A recent study says yes
Kids love drinking soda. However, at the amount that kids on average are drinking, it can pose a serious health risk at a very young age.
According to a study done by Cancer Research UK, teens are drinking a bath tub's amount of soda each year.
Teenagers drink 234 cans of soda a year
The study found that children aged between 11-18 consume about 4 and-a-half cans of soda every week, which amounts to 234 cans a year. That makes for enough soda to fill a small bathtub.
Alarmingly, kids four to 10 drink over two cans a week, which amount to almost half a bathtub. Kids from 18 months to three years were also found to have been drinking about 1.3 cans of soda every week, which amounts to under 70 a year.
Excessive sugar consumption, especially in childhood, can have a lot of negative effects later on in life. It can cause obesity and lead to other complications such as heart problems and diabetes.
Soft drinks are still the number one source of sugar
While the numbers are still alarming, the numbers were lower than the previous years. However, the study still shows soft drinks as the number one source of sugar for children.
Compared to previous years, the sugar intake from soft drinks has fallen by about 17.2% from 2012. While this shows that less children are drinking soft drinks, the amount of soda is still a concern and the UK government is looking towards additional taxes for soft drinks in an attempt to lower soft drink consumption.
The best soda substitutes
Let's face it, as much as we don't want our kids to drink soft drinks and sodas, it's inevitable that they'll start drinking sodas since they're easily accessible.
Here are some healthy alternatives that actually taste better than sodas!
- Kombucha. Kombucha is a fermented drink made from black tea and sugar. It has a lot of healthy bacteria that helps with digestion and also boosts your immune system. It's readily available in most health stores and some coffee shops. You can also order some online.
- Homemade lemonade. Homemade lemonade is ridiculously easy to make! Just mix lemon juice with water and some sugar, and you've got a healthy alternative to lemon-flavored soda. You can also use club soda instead of water to make your own fizzy drink.
- Coconut water. Coconut water is cheap, delicious, and good for you! Instead of buying those fancy bottle coconut water drinks, you can buy whole coconuts so that you can have both the juice as well as the coconut meat!
- Agua Fresca. Agua Fresca or "fresh water" is a refreshing drink that's easy to make. Just blend 3 cups of watermelon, strawberries, or mango, strain the pulp, and mix the juice with water, lime juice, and stevia for sweetness. If you don't have stevia, you can add a small amount of sugar instead.
- Fruit shakes. Fruit shakes are refreshing, healthy, and very tasty! Just mix a bunch of fruits with some ice, chuck them all inside a blender and you've got an amazingly healthy drink that tastes better than soda! You can also use different fruits that are in season to keep things interesting.