December 18, 2017

Do One Thing: Stop the Soda

Did you know that if you drank a typical 20-ounce bottle of soda every day for a year that you would gain 57 pounds? Were you also aware that at least 1/4 of our adolescent children today have a diet that is at least 15% sugar? Obestiy, cardiac disease, and diabetes are on the rise and have been since the mid 1970’s. One of the easiest adjustments you can make to reduce the sugar in your diet and the pounds on your body…stop drinking soda.

This is the fourth in a monthly series on making small, incremental changes towards a healthier diet prompted by my lunch with Robyn O’Brien, author of The Unhealthy Truth. Just joining us this month and interested in completing the previous monthly challenges? Check out all posts from the series here.

If you were to open your refrigerator today, what beverages would you find? The typical American refrigerator would contain milk, juice and soda.

According to the National Soft Drink Association (NSDA), consumption of soft drinks is now over 600 12-ounce servings per person per year.  That is about 2 bottles of soda per day! Since the late 1970`s the soft drink consumption in the United States has doubled for females and tripled for males.

The high fructose corn syrup in the sodas we are all drinking has been linked to many health issues – increased obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, high cholesterol.

Also, the more fructose we consume, the more we want to consume. It is an addictive substance. Try to stop all sugar for one week and see if you don’t go running for anything sugary at the end of the week…if you don’t strangle someone first. 🙂

So to prevent severe bodily harm to those around us, let’s not take the extreme step of removing all sugars from our diet this month. Let’s just tackle one thing at time. This month let’s remove the highly sugary, nutrient-starved drink we call soda.

If you are one of those folks that inhales soda because of the energy-boosting effects of the caffeine, this may sound very scary to you. To help you get through the month, take it slow. Don’t stop the soda cold turkey – unless you are aware of the withdrawal effects you will experience (headaches, lethargy, irritability) and are willing to fight through them. If you currently drink 2 bottles of soda a day, try to reduce down to 1 1/2 bottles a day for the first week. The following week, reduce down to 1 bottle a day. Week 3 you should be able to cut back to 1/2 a bottle a day and by the last week of the month, eliminate that nasty sugar water forever!

If you have the time and attention span, you may want to watch this extremely popular video on YouTube from Dr. Robert Lustig entitled “Sugar: The Bitter Truth”. While he does spend some time during the talk getting into some very specific biochemical information, the talk is highly informative and will have you thinking about sugar in a whole new light.


  1. I’m approaching healthy eating once a week from a frugal perspective so this post caught my interest. My doctor also taught me that sodas have a high pH. Your body will maintain a proper pH and it does so by leaching calcium from your bones when bombarded with high acid “foods” like soda. He said they are seeing a higher incidence of children breaking bones and think that this may be part of it.

  2. Dr. Lustig’s presentation was very informative. Thanks for sharing!

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