It is hard for the world to sing when it can hardly catch its breath, and some say that sugary sodas, such as Coca-Cola, are causing diabetes, obesity and other significant health problems.
California State Senate Bill 1000 (SB 1000), authored by Senator Bill Monning (D-Carmel), was discussed last week in the state legislature. The bill stated that “California adults who drink a soda or more per day are 27 percent more likely to be overweight or obese…and…have a 26 percent higher risk for developing type II diabetes.”
The bill seeks to require a warning label on containers of sodas, sweetened drinks and anything that has 75 or more calories in a base of 12 ounces.
The California bill appears to take a hint from the pending New York City law regarding the same concern. According to a Reuters wire story, NYC’s law would ban 16-ounce sugar-laden drinks from being sold. That bill, which seeks to limit the size of soda drinks that can be purchased, remains under review by a New York state court.
Both of the laws appear to have a significant foundation for concern.
According to a June 2012 fact sheet published by the Harvard School of Public Health, the burgeoning rise in soda consumption may be responsible for the nation’s rapidly rising rates of obesity and diabetes. The two-page sheet goes on to detail the volume of individual drinks during the 20th century, the number of ads promoting them, the demographics of those who watch the ads promoting the drinks and the various media through which people observe the ads.
In a 2009 story published on the Web site of the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) regarding the findings of Robert Lustig, MD, a pediatric neuroendocrinologist at UCSF, he identifies what he posits is a link between high fructose syrup—the major sugary component in soft drinks—and obesity, diabetes and other health factors.
A number of alternative medicine health Web sites, however, tout the overgrowth of “candida” as the reason for obesity and diabetes. One such site, LiverDoctor, promotes the idea that the overgrowth of the candida parasite is owed to an excess of sugar in one’s diet, and that that sugar comes from white bread, flour, sodas and other foods high in refined sugars.
Candida is a to be a natural organism in the human stomach that the human body apparently tends to keep at bay. When exposed to a significant and frequent volume of refined sugars—which includes high fructose syrup—candida is believed to rapidly over-populate the entire gastrointestinal tract. The result is said to induce false hunger and extraordinary fat storage which in turn prompts obesity, diabetes and heart diseases.
While the candida scare appears to have people concerned, it may be that the parasite is less responsible for diabetes, etc., than a diet bereft of processed foods.
In an opinion written by Brent A. Bauer, MD. and published on the Mayo Clinic’s Web site, Bauer said that “complementary and alternative medicines” are not so much the solution to curing diabetes and obesity as excluding sugary sodas and white flour from one’s diet.
The jury is still out on what causes obesity and diabetes; it is hoped the discussion is not over a slice of pizza and a soda.
By Randall Fleming