Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Food Media & News >
May 1, 2009 09:35 AM

Demon Soda (warning - I'm on a rant!)

Given the epidemic of childhood obesity and juvenile-onset diabetes in this country, it astonishes me that that there isn't more of a movement to ban the marketing of soda to kids. A typical 12-oz can contains between 10 and 14 teaspoons of sugar (and I'm not even going to get into the whole "white sugar-vs-HFCS" debate, they're equally bad in this regard). That's roughly 1/4 cup of sugar per can - and most single-serving bottles are even larger, 16 to 20 ounces.

If you put a big scoop of sugar on a plate and served it to a kid you could rightly be accused of child abuse, or at least depraved indifference. Yet people give sodas to their children without a second thought.

Am I the only one who thinks this is beyond insane?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. My ex-wife and I do not give sodas to out daughter (5 1/2 year old).

    1. I agree Bob!

      When my daughters were little we never had any canned drinks in our home. I would make koolaid and not even put the recommended amount of sugar in it. When they tasted it at other peoples home they thought it was nasty and too sweet. If we went out to eat they could have a sprite but only with extra ice, never straight from the can. As they got older it was harder to control and they started drinking canned sodas away from home, but I still wouldn't buy them. Then their dad started bringing cases of soda home - drat! They were teens and had lots of friends hanging around so it was the store brand stuff, but I still didn't like it. Neither one of them had a weight problem, though. Now as adults they are both soda addicts and aren't really over weight but can't understand why they can't lose those last 10 pounds. *sigh* I just hope that the one with children doesn't start giving them sodas in the can! I never will!

      1 Reply
      1. re: danhole

        Our pediatrician is always happy to see that Dana Zsofia is slim. Most Colombian parents want to have chubby kids - although there is almost no adult or teen obesity here.

      2. I agree with you BobB, to a point...

        Sodas were a treat when I was a kid, and then the three of us had to share a bottle, so we really only got a cup’s worth. Otherwise we drank milk, kool-aid or water. After I was grown, my soda consumption grew and has leveled off through my thirties and forties. I’m much more inclined to drink beer anyway. ;-)

        While I do believe that our nation’s youth drinks more soda than is good for them, I don’t think banning advertising is the answer. Instead, I’d rather see parents step up and not rely on sodas to hydrate their kids. BTW, I don’t think it’s just sodas either, it’s those “fruity drinks” like Capri Sun, etc. I also don’t feel that switching to “diet” sodas would be much of a solution.

        I’ve speculated about this often, but how to get people to make changes in consumption (without the law’s intervention) is beyond my ken.

        1. And it isn't just the sugar/HFCS content that causes problems: most sodas contain caffiene, which can cause headaches, hyperactivity in kids, and lead to dehydration; phosphates/phosphorus, the consumption of which can cause calcium to be leached from our bones,weakening them and low blood calcium levels; and acids which cause erosion of the enamel on our teeth and increased tooth decay.

          I don't think anything should be marketed to children. They are too impressionable and unequipped to analyze the advertising and marketing aimed at them. Should such marketing be banned? Not in a free society. But I do think more needs to be done to get people to understand the health risks and make educated choices. Soda is a nice treat once in a while, but something has gone awry when people are drinking it every day.

          1. I'm not defending "liquid candy" but your math is a little off. A cup of sugar has 770 calories and a 12oz can of coke has 155 calories, so it's more accurately 1/5 cup of sugar.

            3 Replies
            1. re: ferret

              Right. One tsp sugar = 16 cal; 10 tsp in soda = 160 cal; 10 tsp = 0.21 (1/5) cup of sugar. But that still is way too much sugar for kids. I support BobB's rant.

              1. re: ferret

                I said about 1/4 cup - coke is on the lower side with "only" 10 tsps, fruity sodas like Welch's grape and orange Slice actually have more than 1/4 cup. Reference:

                1. re: BobB

                  Actually, Welch's at 190 calories is just 1/4 cup. Just keeping your counts honest. I otherwise agree wholeheartedly.