“Big juicy hamburger and diet coke”. Do you think it’s a perfect fit for your child?
Well… think again!
The term ‘diet’ on your soda is deceiving as it leads to more calorie intake. Drinking a ‘diet soda’ is not so distinct from having a tub of ice cream. Too much diet soda can do more than have your children bouncing off the walls. Diet soda is the root cause of increased sugar intake. It has been found in a study issued by Pediatric Obesity that children who had diet drinks consumed 200 more calories as compared to those who drank only water.
How income disparity and consumption of diet soda is related?
The intake of diet drinks is more in the higher-income category as compared to the lower-income group.18.3% of children and adolescents dwelling in households with income at or above 350% of the poverty line consumed diet drinks compared with those inhabiting between 130%-350% of the poverty line. According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, more than a third of children falling in the age group of 2 to 19 are overweight.No wonder the obesity rates are escalating.
With eye-catching claims like “zero-calorie”, diet sodas aren’t the “healthful dream come true “beverages they claim to be.
Diet sodas= piling on pounds
“Diet sodas are healthy as they are sugar-free.”
If you also think that way then this article is going to be an eye-opener for you. It’s high time that you should get over the trap of diet sodas and stop offering it to your children before it's too late.
It is predicted that 85% of the US population devours at least one caffeinated beverage on a daily basis. A higher proportion of intake is found in children and adolescents who are younger than 18 years.
So this is a big-time reality check that every time you choose diet soda for your kid doesn’t mean you’re making a healthy choice. Kids whose consumption of soda is 60% are more prone to obesity. Ever wondered how much caffeine is present in your diet drink. Well, if your child is fond of Diet Coke then most probably he is consuming 45 milligrams of caffeine.
Do you feel like the sleep cycle of your child is disrupted or s/he feels jittery? If yes then the presence of caffeine in diet sodas is responsible for the abruption of the sleep cycle as it is a natural stimulant.
While purchasing diet sodas you shouldn’t turn a blind eye to the fact that not only does soda has caffeine, it also has acid which can lead to tooth decay. Moreover, if your child consumes a lot of such drinks which have a high concentration of caffeine then they are more likely to make washroom trips which can cause dehydration.
These colors used in diet sodas can have adverse effects on the health of your children. The utilization of artificial colors in soda is the reason why it appears brown. Caramel color is being used which makes such drinks captivating.
But the question is at what cost?
The Food and Drug Administration states that a chemical named 4-Mel is found in caramel color. Diet colas consisting of more than 29 micrograms of this chemical are supposed to have health warnings. However, this is not being executed effectively at the ground level. So far such issues of having warning labels are addressed in California law. That’s the reason many market products still include it.
In the sticky world of sugary beverages, diet soda is often considered as the healthier version of normal soda. Artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and sucralose are often used in diet sodas. Some restrictions have been imposed on the prudent consumption of artificial sweeteners with respect to their weight. A child who weighs 40 pounds can drink 12 ounces cans of diet soda every day.
These limits are set by the government however they are usually more than the normal child will ever drink. Although if your child is having artificially sweetened beverages occasionally then there’s nothing to worry about.
Stimulates Hunger Hormones
Isn’t it ironic that we offer diet sodas to our beloved children so that they cut calories but in reality, they end up picking more?
A new study of Pediatric obesity found that low-calorie sweeteners actually increase daily food intake. When your child consumes diet soda then their body is less likely to quell the hunger hormone known as Ghrelin. Diet soda doesn’t satisfy the neurological pathways in the brain simply because they are low on sugars. Undoubtedly diet sodas are sweet but sweetness without calories partly activates the yearnings for sugar and extra food.
If your child is not a big fan of diet soda and likes to have it occasionally then there’s nothing wrong with it. But if s/he can’t go even one day without having it then alarming bells are ringing. All you need to do is make smart choices before you stock your fridge with diet sodas. A plethora of healthier drink options available out there.
Water for midday sipping
One in five American youngsters doesn’t drink any water at all on any given day. Children often turn their nose up at the water. In that case, you can either squeeze lemon or add slices of cucumber. Such combos will definitely lure them. Convincing your child to drink plain water and ditch those low calorie sweetened beverages isn’t a cakewalk. So in order to ‘sweeten’ the deal for your kids, you can also add a splash of fruit juice.
Since ready-made smoothies are already stacked with sugar, it’s better to make one at home. Soda cravings of your child can be fulfilled from the sweetness of a smoothie. Smoothies loaded with fruits, veggies, and proteins are a nutritional powerhouse. Fruit smoothies like that of raspberries are the sure shot way to jam pack maximum nutritional value. They are full of fresh fruits, veggies, and proteins that boost the energy level of children.
And you know what?
You can sneak in some spinach without getting caught.
Blend of Sparkling water with a splash of juice
If your kid can’t resist the fizziness of soda then add some juice in sparkling water or you can even add some fruits to satiate the cravings. But if you’ll add sugar then it’ll be equivalent to having soda and all your efforts will go in vain. So make sure that juice which you are adding doesn’t have sugar.
Moderation is the key
Adverse health effects are associated with the intake of diet soda on regular bases like cravings and mood swings. It can be quite annoying for your kid to beat the habit of drinking diet soda. Going cold fish can cause some withdrawal symptoms and make your child cranky. These symptoms can be anywhere from 2-9 days.
Switching to healthier alternatives can surely help in decreasing consumption of diet soda gradually. Make sure you offer a wide variety of fruits they won’t be able to resist the fancy colorful combos. Breaking the diet soda habit can be a tough nut to crack. So cut down the diet soda of your child gradually. Start with baby steps. Initially, when you will try cutting back on soda they may feel drowsy, it happens because the body needs sufficient time to refuel. Still, it’s way better to hit the ‘sofa’ rather than having ‘soda’.