P9: Stay Away From Soft Drinks

Look at this soft drink. It looks colourful, tastes zesty, and appears glamorous. Many of us fall in love with it. I say, we fall victim to it, because it is a money-robbing tool to our wallet; it is an enchantment to our mind; and it is an enemy to our health. And if you want to stay safe and sound, hale and hearty, stay away from soft drinks.

Soft drink is a money-robbing tool to our wallet for businessmen to rob our money easily and quietly. Do you know how much a can of coca-cola actually costs? According to this article at Newsweek, “Belching Out the Devil” by Mark Thomas,  the syrup to make a single cup of Coca-Cola costs $0.0052. How much do we pay for it? 80 cents? $1.5?  $2.5? Well, the price depends on where we buy it. The price we pay is usually a few hundred times the cost of the goods sold. What do we get on earth? Sugar, colourings, preservatives, calories! How much does a proper meal cost in a hawker centre? 3 dollars or 4 dollars? That means, one soft drink actually costs one third, sometimes even more, the price of a proper meal. We are not happy about the chicken rice uncles raising the price of a plate of chicken rice by fifty cents, but we are never reluctant to pay a few dollars for a soft drink that is actually worth only a few cents. More ironically, many people can afford to drive a posh car, can afford to drink plenty of fancy, savoury, fizzy soft drinks but assiduously complain about the one-dollar or two-dollar ERP. Furthermore, how many people bother to offer a one-dollar coin or a two-dollar note to a disabled person in the street?  We complain about the inflation of chicken rice; we hate ERP; we ignore the physically challenged poor people around us; but we never hesitate to pass our hard earned money to soft drinks businessmen who are commanding a huge profit margin quietly!  What a big irony!

Soft drink is also an enchantment to our mind. Do you know how much sugar a can of coca-Cola contains? Let me read out the number for you. The nutrition fact on the can says per 100ml the sugar amount is 10.6 gram. So a can containing 330ml like this contains 30 plus gram of sugar. If we put sugar, artificial sweeteners or flavours or colourings or preservatives separately on a plate, how many of us will eat them voluntarily and happily? I bet nobody. Many of us are actively reducing the intake of sugar or avoiding colourings and preservatives in our diet. Excessive intake will cause health problems. We all know that too well. Can we differentiate sugar and a can of soft drink? Certainly. Can we tell the sugar inside a can of soft drink? We can but more often than not, we lose the awareness when it is camouflaged inside a soft drink.  Isn’t it clear that soft drinks contain sugar, artificial sweeteners, flavours, colourings, and preservatives? Then why do we still voluntarily and happily pay for soft drinks and pour them into our mouth? The answer is simple – in front of a small enchantment like soft drink, we lose our mind to temptation.

More dangerously, soft drink is an insidious enemy to our health. As early as in 1998, the centre for science in the public interest published a research paper titled Liquid Candy: How Soft Drinks are Harming Americans’ Health. The research paper reported scientific evidence between soft drinks and health problems such as obesity, bone loss, tooth decay, diabetes, heart disease, and many others. Imagine, after drinking soft drinks for a period of time, you suddenly find your face bigger, body rounder; you doctor tells you that you are unfortunately going through something called degeneration of bone mass and you are at the high risk of fracture; or your dentist suggests you pay a bigger bill to do something to your teeth because your teeth enamel is being eroded away; or you have to inject insulin on your tummy because you are suffering from diabetes …How will you feel? Do you want a bigger face and a rounder body? Do you want to suffer bone loss? Do you want to experience toothache? Do you want to get connected with diabetes or heart disease? When you shake your head in disbelief and denial, do you know that the culprit for the series of mishaps may be soft drinks?

I am not the only one lobbying against soft drinks. According to Wikipedia, in Jan 2013, a British lobby group called for the price of sugary fizzy drinks to be increased; in March 2013, New York City‘s mayor Michael Bloomberg proposed to ban the sale of non-diet soft drinks larger than 16 ounces.

Ladies and gentlemen, next time when you want to buy soft drinks, think twice and think why. Is it because of the flavour, color, or glamour associated with soft drinks? Is flavour, color and glamour more important than money, mind, and health? Do you want a bigger face and a rounder body? Do you want to get bone loss and toothache? Do you want to contract diseases such as obesity, hypertension, and stroke? If your answer is no to any of the questions, stay away from soft drinks. It is your choice and for your own good!

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