Some time ago, young children were visiting their dentists for a simple routine cleaning, but these days, children consume a tremendous sugar amount.
This leaves them with tooth decay issues, and their rotting teeth need to be pulled out.
Recently, a 3-year-old boy in New Zealand who consumed excessive amounts of sugar had to undergo 11 teeth extractions. His dentist Dr. Rob Beaglehole said that the sippy cup of the boy was filled with soda.
Yet, this is not only a New Zealand issue. According to the American Heart Association, women should consume no more than 6 teaspoons of sugar, and men no more than 9 teaspoons daily.
For instance, one 20 oz. Coca-Cola contains 15 teaspoons of sugar, so if you drink one today, you consume twice the recommended sugar amount.
Research has shown that the amount of sugar consumed by the average American daily is a whopping 23 teaspoons, which is triple the recommended amount for men and quadruple the recommended amount for women.
Moreover, Appalachia, the area that stretches from southern New York to Alabama, has also noted an issue with sugar consumption, due to the intake of soft drinks, which lead to an alarmingly high number of cases of eroding teeth.
This issue is also known as the “Mountain Dew Mouth” problem, after the most popular drink in the area.
The main culprit for this is the citric acid, which is a preservative that improves the flavor and the shelf life of these drinks and is found in high amounts in soda. It erodes the enamel and dentin, the tooth core.
Yet, this is not the only reason why you should avoid added sugar. Namely, sugar overloads the liver and leads to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and insulin resistance, which in turn causes type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular disease. High sugar intake also causes an increased cancer risk.
Sugar consumption is also the main reason for the development of obesity in children and adults. It reduces satiety levels and is highly addictive, forcing people to crave for more sugar and food.
In the last three decades, childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents, and in 2012, over 1/3 of children and adolescents were overweight or obese.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that obese youth are more likely to suffer from some of the risk factors for cardiovascular disease, sleep apnea, prediabetes, bone and joint problems, and social and psychological problems such as poor self-esteem.
Moreover, obese adolescents and children are likely to be obese as adults, being at risk of stroke, osteoarthritis, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and several types of cancer.
According to the New Zealand Dental Association, parents should give only milk and water to their children, in order to prevent more tooth decay from soda.
Even though these claims are constantly challenged by the beverage industry, dentists and nutrition experts warn about the negative effects of soft drinks and all sugar-high products.