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    I Am On A Mission

    by Ngozi Osuagwu, MD | March 27th, 2022

    I Am On A Mission

    If I had known what I know today about soda, I would have never brought soda into the house. I would have never had my children drink soda. While going to medical school, it was never discussed. In 2018, I made the personal decision to stop drinking soda. My husband challenged me and asked me about guests who come to the house. Today, I will tell guests if they need to drink soda in my place, then you will need to BYOS – bring your own soda. I would ban regular and diet soda if I had it my way. A few years ago, I wrote the blog titled, It Is Time to Stop. Since that time, there has been a decline in Americans drinking soda (soft drinks).

    Here are the current stats from Zippia Research on the U.S. Beverage Industry:

    • Half of Americans drink soft drinks and sugary drinks every day.
    • More than half of American children drink soft drinks and sugary drinks every day.
    • Non-Hispanic Black Americans consume the most sweetened beverage. This includes soft drinks, sports, and energy drinks.

    There is a lot of money in the beverage industry. It is a $146 billion industry. As far as companies are making money, they have no incentive to stop selling soft drinks that have no nutritional value. I am on a mission to share the facts and hopefully get you and those you love to stop drinking regular or diet soda.

    Here are my top three reasons for stopping drinking soda (pop, sugary soft drinks):

    • There is absolutely no nutritional value in drinking soda. When we talk about empty calories, this truly meets the definition. The average drink has about 140 calories of nothing of value. There are no vitamins, no protein, and no fiber – NOTHING OF VALUE. Take a look at the ingredients:
      • Carbonated water – this is what gives the refreshing taste.
      • High fructose corn syrup – promotes obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay.
      • Caramel color – depending on how it is processed, may be carcinogenic.
      • Sugar – promotes obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay.
      • Phosphoric acid – erodes the teeth.
      • Caffeine – mildly addictive stimulant drug.
      • Citric acid– a preservative to extend the shelf life of soda.
      • Natural flavors – companies refuse to release their secret.
    • Soda is a sugary drink. The amount of sugar in soda is like putting ten teaspoons of sugar in a cup of water – 10 TEASPOONS. It has been linked to obesity and diabetes. I had a patient who lost 25 pounds in one year just by giving up soda. When you drink any sugary drink, the sugar enters the body quickly, and your body is forced to react to the sugar fast. This can affect organs in your body. The ingredients in soda are a significant cause of tooth decay. You have to drink soda and brush your teeth immediately to minimize the damage to the teeth.
    • Soda companies advertise to communities of color three times more than they advertise to the white community. They purposely advertise in communities most affected by health care inequities, and they do it in a most disingenuous fashion. They provide philanthropic gifts like scholarships, inducing brand loyalty while selling products linked to obesity and diabetes. They use this same strategy to target people in developing countries.

    Coca-Cola Zero Sugar was the fastest-growing soft drink in 2021. Even though diet soda might not have the calories, studies have shown that it contributes to diabetes because the body is fooled with the artificial sweeteners thinking that it is sugar and the body releases the hormones in the body similar to what it would do if it got a sugar load.

    If you are used to drinking soda, it may be hard to stop cold turkey. I suggest that you decrease the amount to half each week until it is done. If you are someone that likes the fizz as I do, get carbonated water. I find it funny that carbonated water, with fewer ingredients than soda, is more expensive. The issue is that it does not have the addictive ingredients that have people buying a lot, so the profit margin is less. For the soda companies, it is all about the money.

    4 Responses to “I Am On A Mission”

    1. Linda Jackson says:

      Whew! Interesting, thought-provoking info today! I drink soda about 4 times a year, knowing that it’s no good for me. I “treat” my sweet tooth to homemade hibiscus tea, sweetened with agave, and sometimes homemade lavender limeade, also sweetened with agave. I do “breakdown” and sometimes drink store-bought tea (brought home by my husband), and the quantity of sugar in a 16-ounce bottle is outrageous! (28-34 grams of sugar!) Also, companies know that if they released the origin of those “natural flavors”, they would lose some customers, if what I’ve read is true (secretions from beaver anal glands????). Thank you, thank you, thank you, Dr. Osuagwu!

    2. Dayna Hale says:

      Because of you I have cut down from 1 soda a day to less than 1-2 a month. I switched to kombucha for the caffiene and gut health and started drinking coffee here and there. Thank you!

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    The book discusses common gynecological and women’s health issues in a series of witty and entertaining letters. These letters, all educational, offer suggestions on what approaches to take in tackling the medical problems that typically bring women to an ob/gynecologist. The letters are spiced with art, a poem and quotes. Although its emphasis is on gynecology and women’s health, it touches on some other medical issues that make women visit their doctors.

    The second half of the book briefly discusses the most common gynecological conditions and also provides an overview of sexually transmitted infections. A list of annotated websites dealing with the different topics in the book is provided for the reader who wants to pursue each subject in depth.




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