Our nation’s unending love for soda might finally be seeing the beginning of the end.
America’s switch from totally loving the sweet stuff, to not really knowing what to do about it can best be represented by the way we know it isn’t healthy for us, and yet… it’s so hard to leave it alone on store shelves when it’s staring back up at us. But at least the effort is there! More Americans than ever before are beginning to put– and keep– soda down. A July 2014 Gallup poll showed as much, conveying that a solid 63 percent of Americans are now actively trying to stay away from soda. That represents a big rise from the 51 percent of Americans actively trying for the same in 2004.
Perhaps these shocking realities about the sweet stuff below will help convince you to stop sippin’ soda altogether if you haven’t already accomplished that feat.
1. Many Hold Poisonous Flame Retardants
Both Europe and Japan have banned brominated vegetable oil (BVO), a toxic flame retardant, from being used in their soda drinks– but it continues to live quite freely in numerous North American soda drinks (particularly citrus-flavored beverages). First made so that plastics could be flame-retardant, BVO is now used to maintain the flavoring in fizzy drinks so it doesn’t get separated from the rest of the drink. Though a thin layer of flavor resting at the top of a beverage doesn’t sound appealing to anyone, it’s definitely not a fair trade considering the frightening side effects. In May of 2014, though, both Coca-Cola and PepsiCo declared they were going to take BVO out of their drinks; but, they are still in sodas like Squirt, Sunkist Peach and Fruit Punch, and Sun Drop.
2. They’re Poisoning Our Water
It’s not hard to understand: our bodies lack the ability to break down artificial sweeteners (plenty of reason to avoid the stuff right there…), which means they leave our bodies and move through our waterways instead. Made even worse, water treatment plants don’t gather them up either, meaning they float out into our bodies of water. Researchers from Sweden discovered the ingredients acesulfame K, saccharin, and sucralose (which are used in many diet sodas) in rivers and lakes around the nation when they conducted a survey in 2009. In fact, after 19 drinking water treatment plants were individually tested, it was found that sucralose was in every… single… one!
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