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Health Risks Associated with the Consumption of Carbonated beverages in Children and Adolescents
In recent times, there has been an increased consumption of carbonated beverages by adolescents and children in industrialized countries (Holubcikova et al. 2015). A possible factor for this can be the media, as carbonated beverages are often promoted through television advertisements (Olafsdottir et al. 2014). Companies such as Nestle, generated approximately $1 trillion in sales in 2000, spending extensive amounts to promote poor nutritional foods and beverages (Ebbeling, Pawlak, and Ludwig, 2002). The only beneficiaries, in regards to carbonated beverages, are these companies that sell their product since they are gain profits from the consumers. There are far more health risks associated with the consumption of any type of soda, among the children and adolescent population. Findings from the US Department of Agriculture, indicated the exponential increase in soft-drink consumption by 500% in the span of 50 years, with girls showing a 67% increase and boys showing 74% of increase in soda consumption (Putnam and Allshouse, 1999). Most of these soda beverages are sugar-sweetened, as opposed to artificially sweetened, constituting this as the leading source of added sugars in the diet (Ludwig, Peterson and Gortmaker, 2001). Many factors, such as age, gender, race/ethnicity, body mass (BMI) and the media can induce this poor health outcome (Forshee and Storey, 2013). Although there have been multiple studies that presented many health risks associated with increased consumption of soda, such as aggressive behavior (Holubcikova et al. 2015), deleterious effect on bone health (Schulze, Manson, Ludwig, et al. 2004) and asthma (Park et al. 2013). Most findings have accentuated two major health risks, dental erosion and increased risk of obesity in children and adolescents ranging from 2 to 18 years old. The early onset of these unhealthy habits is not only detrimental to a child’s health but also fixates their future lifestyle. It is valuable to promote a healthy life style in the early ages on to prevent such health risks, and provide treatment options if required. The following paragraphs will further explain the dental and obesity health risks associated with soda consumption, in children and adolescents, and provide potential treatment options to prevent any health risks.
The consumption of acidic beverages has contributed to dental erosion among the adolescent and children population. Dental erosion not only causes tooth wear, but also loss of tooth structure due to acidic fluids such as soda. To further explain, a study conducted by Sovik et al (2005), found that majority of the adolescents (16-18 years), had dental erosion and yet they continued to consume sweet carbonated beverages at least three times a week. In addition, a study conducted by Johansson et al (2002, 2004), Moazzez et al (2000), and Zero and Lussi (2006), explained a...