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Fixin' Healthcare

Friday, November 11, 2005

And All That Fizz

Traditional wisdom and common sense are overwhelmed by marketing and freshly minted experts. Yet, scientific discovery continues to provide explanations and support for traditional wisdom and common sense when it comes to lifestyle and nutrition.

Hippocrates around the year 450 B.C. and your grandmother were in agreement about the value of balance and moderation in diet and exercise.

Drink plenty of water and don't fill up on sodas is something most people have heard in their lifetime. Many patients have told me how they were able to control their weight when they began drinking water. In most of these situations the water was replacing sodas.

The results of two recent studie would not surprise our grandmothers. The University of Texas followed the weight of 1,550 people over eight years and found that being overweight was more likely to be associated with drinking diet sodas than beverages sweetened with sugar. The Harvard School of Public Health found that elevated blood pressure is associated with sodas containing caffeine but not coffee containing caffeine.

Neither of these studies demonstrate a cause and effect relationship or a mechanism with sodas. However, they do show the consumption of sodas at the center of lifestyle and diet that result in weight gain and elevated blood pressure. It is not likely that someone will eat the same food all day, everyday but it is not unusual for someone to drink sweetened or diet sodas all day, everyday. That can be a lot of calories, fructose, salt and artifical sweetener.

Hippocrates and our grandmothers would not approve of drinking sodas instead of water. We might not want their approval but certainly we do not want to be fat and sick.

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