As a family dentist, I regularly warn patients of the dangers of drinking soda or any beverages with a low pH level. Now, Coca-Cola is under fire for marketing these same sodas in a misleading way. Per Fox News, the Center for Science in the Public Interest has sued the company for misleading the public regarding the true danger of drinking sugary soda.
The facts about Coca-Cola
The World Health Organization finds that one serving or can of Coca-Cola contains 39 grams of sugar — that’s almost double the amount of sugar in a regular sized Snickers bar. That is 14 grams of sugar above and beyond the daily recommended maximum for adults. With increased research being done on the impact of excess sugar on obesity and diabetes, many in the scientific community agree that sugar, not fat, is the largest dietary concern today. The lawsuit seeks to change the way that the company and the American Beverage Association market their products to include information on these risks. They also want them to fund a public health campaign and stop advertising to children or making misleading health-related advertising claims.
Fox published quotes from the lawsuit in an article on their website, www.foxnews.com, titled "Coca-Cola sued for ‘false and misleading marketing’ of sodas." The article quotes the lawsuit, stating that "Each year, Coca-Cola spends billions of dollars on misleading and deceptive promotions and advertising that have enormous appeal to consumers, including children, which advertising effects persist over years."
From my perspective, as a family dentist, I see the effects of these advertising campaigns in creating a culture where drinking high-sugar beverages are the norm and not the exception. I also see the terrible impact that they have on enamel and the teeth in general. Soda, energy drinks and juice are typically full of sugar and acid. This is a deadly combination for oral health because the acid begins to attack and erode the enamel on the outer layer of the teeth. When sugar is added into the equation, the impact of this is only increased with many patients suffering from decay and brittle teeth as a result.
By simply eliminating all beverages with a low pH from your diet, you can prevent many oral health problems and even strengthen your teeth. However, since most people are unaware of these risks, they never consider making this important dietary change and are forced to live with the consequences. Patients will continue living without realizing what contributed to their poor oral health in the first place. This is where increased education can really make a difference.
It is also important to point out that just because drinks high in sugar are bad for you, does not mean that sugar-free options are necessarily safe. In my family dentist office, I recommend drinking water and milk because most commercially available beverages contain acid for preservation and flavoring. This creates dangerously low pH levels. For example, while a sugar-free soda is better for your overall health than one full of sugar, the pH levels are closer to battery acid than to water.
As such, your enamel will erode and your teeth will suffer from the regular drinking of sugar-free soda; just like it would if you continued to drink the full-sugar option. The best way to protect your teeth is to drink water and visit our family dentist office for regular teeth cleanings and examinations.
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