Monday, February 14, 2011

No Soda Policy Not Popular, But Healthier

Considering that I spend a lot of my time writing about health topics for Fauquier Hospital, I consider myself reasonably well educated on the most common health issues facing Americans. Not a day goes by that I don't come across the term "lifestyle disease." I am reminded constantly that the choices we make have an effect --sometimes a serious effect -- on our health and wellness.

As a participant in the hospital's Make One Change wellness program, I know that cutting out soft drinks is high up on the list for those who want to live healthier lives.

It was with this mindset that early this morning, a half hour or so before the middle and high school opening bells, I drove past a couple of teenagers apparently on their way back from 7-11. They each had a Big Gulp-sized drink that I assumed was full some kind of soft drink. It's probably a safe assumption. 7-11 doesn't serve ginseng tea in Big Gulp cups, does it?

My first instinct was to stop my car, march over to the pair and ask them why they were drinking 32 ounces of soda first thing in the morning. (This is the same instinct that makes me offer children I don't know coats and sweaters when they are inappropriately dressed at the bus stop. My children attempt to become invisible when I do these things.)

I restrained myself from accosting these children and satisfied myself by ranting out loud with the car windows rolled up.

Our household is a soda-free one, with very occasional exceptions for extra-special occasions. When my 14-year-old gets her hands on a bottle of pop, she makes it last a week. She loves the taste --who doesn't? But she knows that it holds absolutely no nutritional value -- and it doesn't even quench your thirst!

My older kids, after complaining for years about the no-soda policy, don't drink it either, even though, in college, they have escaped the long arm of Mom. (I do realize that our ban on soda doesn't make me a better mother, just a stubborn one.)

I found two recent articles about the hazards of drinking too many soft drinks. One piece is about diet soda, the other about energy drinks. Click below for some food for thought.

I'm still looking for an article to back up my stance on waiting for the bus with no coat on.

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