Should soft drink be banned?

Considering everything we know about soft drink – it’s connection to obesity and diabetes, the effect it has on teeth, the pollution in creates and the way it is marketed to children –  is it perhaps time that some kind of restriction be placed on the fizzy stuff?

It’s wouldn’t be the first time an enjoyable consumable that initially seemed harmless was banned. Opium, cocaine, alcohol, cigarettes, marijuana – we’ve been through this many times before.

But soft drink – it’s just a drink, right? Just sugar, water and some unidentified colours and flavourings. How bad can it be?

Soft drinks are the second-biggest source of sugar (9.7 per cent) in the Australian diet after fruit (16 per cent).

“It’s extremely concerning that so many Australians, particularly young males, are regularly drinking sugary ‘pick-me-ups’ such as soft drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks and cordial, some of which contain up to 16 teaspoons of sugar per serve, without realising how bad they are for their health,” Obesity Policy Coalition executive manager Jane Martin told The New Daily.

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A recent study conservatively estimated the global death toll from soft drinks to be 184,000 a year. 

In a matter of minutes after drinking a can of soft drink, it will attack the enamel on your teeth (and the diet versions are actually worse in this respect), send your blood sugar into a spin and put pressure on your body to release insulin. 

This leads to weight gain – a one-can-a-day habit will cause you to gain 6.5 kgs each year, which quickly adds up.

Today it has been revealed that Coca-Cola is funding a study that will set out to prove that lack of exercise rather than what you eat is the major cause of excessive weight gain. However, leading nutrition expert Dr Rosemary Stanton says soft drinks are a “major” cause of obesity.

Considering all the health risks, is it time we put some kind of ban or restriction on soft drinks?