I have a friend back home who has an addiction I really can’t reason with. She drinks at least three Cokes every day, including one bright and early in the morning when most people would be having their coffee. Personally I can’t even drink half a Coke without my teeth feeling grimy and/or getting a stomach ache. Now, my friend seems to be doing just fine, but there have to be some long term effects of this constant soda consumption that are detrimental to her health.
My first thought was that this has to be decaying teeth in some sort of way. What I found is that soda contains citric and or phosphoric acid, which is harmful to the enamel, or outer covering, of the tooth. Soda will also cause an excess of plaque buildup on the teeth which ultimately leads to either cavities or other types of problems.
Another way soda, particularly diet soda, has been known to visibly affect you is through weight gain. According to Time, this past May a study was conducted on 3,000 women who were pregnant. When looking at the infants of mothers who regularly drank soda compared to those who did not, they were twice as likely to be extremely overweight at around one year old.
Now besides simply focusing on the physical downsides of soda consumption, I am also interested in ways our body could be affected without us even knowing. According to WebMD, those who drink diet soda regularly are nearly 50% more likely to have a stroke or heart attack. With that being said, there is no know mechanism to directly link that diet coke causes strokes. There have also been studies conducted at the University of Miami which back up this information further. After controlling some confounding variables such as smoking, they found that in a study done on people ranging from about 59-79 years old, those who drank soda regularly were about 60% more likely to experience a stroke or heart attack than those who did not.
Overall, what seems to be the trend with these soda studies is the fact that there are many correlations between regular soda consumption and heath issues, but no real causations can be made. It is important to keep these things in mind when filling up your glass with a sugary drink, but ultimately it won’t directly kill you.