"Health is a large word. It embraces not the body only, but the mind and spirit as well;...
and not today's pain or pleasure alone, but the whole being and outlook of a man."
~James H. West

Lisa's Blog

A Soft Drink a day Keeps Good Behaviour Away

Lisa Cutforth - Saturday, August 24, 2013

I was reading the paper this morning and was astonished to read that HALF of all Australian children drink one can of soft drink a day and 13 per cent drink three cans or more (as published in the Journal of Pediatrics).  I was devastated to learn that parents are giving babies soft drinks in their sippy cups and bottles (as reported in the Medical Association). 

The mistake I often make as a practitioner is the assumption that common sense is common and that people have been exposed to the education and facts that I have that prevent me making those decisions and mistakes.

I did my dissertation at university on ADD/ADHD and treatment about 10 years ago, so know too well the relationship between poor diet and behaviour problems, not just in children, but adults too.

The headline of the article I was reading was "Soft drinks make kids crazy" (The Courier Mail Saturday 24 August).  In fact I wouldn't even have read it except that I was so surprised that this was "news".  I thought this was OLD NEWS and by now EVERY ONE KNEW that soft drinks make kids crazy.  Apparently many still don't realise the disastrous effects soft drinks are having on children. 

For those that don't yet know, and that is what this article was highlighting was a study by the University of Columbia on 3000 five year olds, that children who had a can of soft drink a day had more behavioural problems than those who drank none. 

"All five year olds have "behavioural problems", it has nothing to do with soft drink, my kid is just hyperactive." I have heard parents explain. But the reality is a sugar hit accompanied with a caffeine hit to a young developing brain can have the similar effect to a drug.  It can make kids excitable, jittery, distracted, giddy, dizzy and agitated.. and at an age they are not able to explain what has hit them, they just act it out.  A parent looking on says, "What's got into you, stop being so naughty, calm down."  But they have been over stimulated chemically and physiological and like someone under the influence of alcohol or a drug, you can't just "switch that effect off" and "behave properly". 

The other down side of soft drink is the sugar hit (and caffeine hit) triggers the stress response commonly referred to as "fight or flight response" (which activates hormones that give the body a kick of adrenalin) which typically will "get us going" or "makes us withdrawn".  This fight or flight response in children could be played out as aggression or depression.  Certainly a daily hit of this is not good for a body especially not a little one on a regular basis. Unfortunately "sugar" is not just "sugar" when it's consumed in those quantities in that fizzy, caffeinated delivery system.  Caffeine will accelerate a sugar hit to the brain.

The article notes the Australian Dental Associations Dr Peter Aldritt's coment: "I think people would be shocked if they realised that the average soft drink has 16 packets of sugar in it."

Just in case you didn't know: Soft drinks are also often full of artificial ingredients which effectively are toxins the liver has to then deal with, and the sugar and acidity of sugary fizzy drinks erode tooth enamel and contribute to tooth decay.  Those are some of the LONG KNOWN effects. 

Certainly something we don't want our children to get a "taste" for or develop addictions to this early in their little lives.  Let them seek out soft drinks if they must when they are adults and are practicing free will, but certainly don't allow or ignorantly facilitate daily consumption of soft drinks. 

Better alternatives for children (0-10)?

Breast milk or formula, water, Freshly pressed fruit and vegetable juices (diluted with water and not before 6 months), sparkling mineral water, caffeine free herbal teas like fruit teas or Jasmine tea or Rooibos tea (for over 2s and never from a bottle and away from meals).


Post has no comments.
Post a Comment

Captcha Image

Trackback Link
Post has no trackbacks.

Recent Posts


herbal toothpaste what is a good breakfast quick eating solutions I don't get hungry fruit success and you diet diary pop-eye and spinach life lessons soft drink and behavior problems healthy shopping taking responsibility increasing energy immune system sugar and adhd what is healthy food strength Add new tag corporate wellness is sugar bad natural alternatives to drugs how to love exercise soccer, role of team sports in longevity, role of exercise and community in longevity assertiveness healthy fast food, healthy take away Lactose intolerance Happiness trans fats obesity avoiding a choice Nutritional Therapist sexy salad dance prostate cancer control seasonal quick and tasty recipes low cholesterol what is movember cooking with allergies Nina Simone how to be happy recipes for allergies breast cancer prevention drugfree alternatives foods in season, seasonal recipes nutritionists diet diary allergies recipies healthy shopping list comfort eating best exercise high cholesterol fresh health for busy people food intolerances love, loneliness wrong type of exercise, exercise and results the tummy beast I've Got Life libido Egg allergy quizz low calorie diet breakfast Lisa's Diary 7 steps to detox Dr Randy Pausch on Oprah health pioneers fun cholesterol lowering diet nutritionist in brisbane comfort foods make stress work for you dangers of multitasking while you eat simple 7 day detox plan nutritious ways to improve prostate health image life choices gluten intolerance detox nutritious cooking sexy salads health one step at a time new year's resolutions comfort pig skip meals nutrition happiness course food sensitivities performance fatigue skipping meals stress, keys to managing stress, benefits of stress love food low calorie meal plan ask my doctor relationship with food muffins addicted to chocolate should I eat organic veggies weight loss gift Cancer mood health keep focused support your body memory is chocolate bad for me getting fit sustainable living, rural development, organic gardening, rampumps, biogas maintain a healthy weight, underweight healthy cooking parties how to get more of exercise diet diary of a nutritionist heart disease life feels good food allergies do i have to drink milk; where do i get calcium from; non dairy calcium sources music improve your memory healthy cooking party salad benefits of strength training, why you should strength train fruit and vegetable shortage recipe real food sugar and add weight Sensational motivation great second hand books Alan Pease childrens lunch boxes immune boosting tips indigestion christmas fun breast cancer awareness video hot guys focus healthy cooking demonstration soft drink and behaviour problems the power to choose quick recipes mobile phones and brain cancer, Dr Teo go for 2 and 5 reducing coffee nutritionist Laughter and stress how to avoid injury during exercise reasons to eat foods in season healthy wine, healthy beer, healthy alcohol options delicious natural toothpaste which is better for you butter or margarine time management and healthy living health with 10 % effort relax alzheimers brain health taking a break anxiety happiness workshop cheap fruit and vegetables, what's in season in autumn in australia cooking class in brisbane have fun in the kitchen ability to respond four questions you must ask your doctor before taking medication organic vegetables how to say no making time to relax energy homocysteine calorie controlled diet celebrate life fussy eaters leaky gut, gut health, symptoms of leaky gut fresh start to know and not do is not yet to know are frozen veggies any good hunger and stress breast cancer awareness empty your mind are grains healthy how to check your breasts 7 Tips to Lower Your Cholesterol and Protect Your Heart lunch blood pressure heart foundation tick explained have more energy weightloss benefits to keeping a diet diary sensitivity to milk how to avoid doing the right thing and getting the wrong results dancing 10 % principle muscle wasting overindulge benefits of sleeping