Soft Drinks Linked to Respiratory Problems

By Emily Murray

Drinking soda habitually has been considered a health risk for a variety of reasons ranging from increased risk of diabetes to tooth decay, but did you know that it may also be impacting your respiratory health?

This latest bit of news has been popping up over the Web this week and is making many question their own soda consumption.

If You Drink at Least a Half Liter of Soft Drink a Day, You Are at Risk
To be more specific, soda intake has now been directly linked to an increased risk for developing asthma or COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). This news comes as a result of a recent study which began by polling close to 17,000 people 16 and older in South Australia regarding their consumption of soda as well as flavored mineral water, lemonade and sports drinks like Powerade and Gatorade. Researchers compiled the necessary data and were able to conclude that those who drank at least a half liter of these soft drinks each day were more than 2x as likely to develop these lung conditions than those who didn’t. These results were published in the Respirology.

What is the Correlation Between Soft Drinks and Respiratory Health?
You may be surprised to learn that it isn’t so much what’s in the soda that causing the problem, it’s more what soda drinking is an indicator of. According to research, soda drinking often is indicative of overall poor health habits. Some of these include habits that increase the likelihood for respiratory problems like smoking or unbalanced/unhealthy diet.

Are There Any Other Possible Explanations for the Link?
It’s also been questioned in other studies if perhaps the chemicals in these plastic bottles may have more to do with the reported health problems  than the actual beverage itself. Additionally, there could be other factors involved since the data used for the study was self-reported by those participating.

Regardless of whether there is a plausible link between sods consumption and respiratory ailments, this serves as a reminder that what we take into our bodies can have a large impact on our overall health. It seems barely a month goes by without headlines of the health consequences of these types of beverages. Whether we are looking at the overload of chemicals and artificial sweeteners or the high sugar content, there are a variety of good solid reasons to cut down on your soda intake.