Our bodies don’t recognize them as food – While we’re making our New Year’s resolutions, maybe one of the things we should change in ’09 is our soda habit. Some researchers think that they’re the main cause of obesity in the US and there’s a reason for this that goes beyond the sugar (or high fructose corn syrup) that’s in them!

In the December 17th edition of the New York Times, Nicholas Kristof quotes nutritionist Barry Popkin as saying, “Soft drinks are linked to diabetes and obesity in the way that tobacco is to lung cancer.” A new study shows that over the past two decades, the number of adults consuming sugar-sweetened beverages such as soft drinks, fruit drinks and punches has increased dramatically.

When our human bodies evolved, the only thing we drank was breast milk for the first few years, until we were old enough to eat food. If liquids (like water) made us feel full, it would have been bad for us, since after weaning, we wouldn’t have been motivated to search for anything to eat and would have just drunk water to quell our hunger pangs, so the species would have died out.

This is why our bodies do not feel “full” when we’ve had only liquids (which is why liquid diets don’t work). Although a soda contains the calories of a piece of fruit, it does not fill us up, (so it fills us OUT).

Nutritionist Sara N. Bleich says, “More adults are drinking sugar-sweetened beverages and, among those drinkers, consumption has increased. From 1988 to 2004, the percentage of sugar-sweetened beverage drinkers increased 5%.”

Art credit: freeimages.co.uk

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