Nowadays fewer and fewer children are going to the dentist just to check out and clean their teeth. Tooth decay is a very common condition due to the enormous amount of sugar that children are eating, and as a result the teeth rot and have to be pulled out. For example, one boy from New Zealand who was just three years old got 11 teeth extraction because of his high consummation of sugar. The dentist Rob Beaglehole stated that this particular boy consumed soda on a regular basis.
The amount of sugar intake in America
This is not a problem only in New Zealand. The recommended dose of sugar intake by the American Heart Association is about 9 teaspoons of sugar daily for men and 6 teaspoons of sugar a day for women. There are 15 teaspoons of sugar in just 20oz. Coca-Cola. So this is over the daily recommended dose for sugar.
The question here is do the Americans pay attention and follow the warning about the amount of sugar intake? The American Heart Association says that the average amount of sugar intake for an American is astonishing 23 teaspoons a day. This exceeds the limits of daily amount for more than 4 times for women and 3 times for men.
There is also a big issue with sugar intake in the region called Appalachia, which is between New York and Alabama. The soft drinks consummation is causing high levels of eroding teeth as it was stated by the public health advocates. This issue is called ‘Mountain Dew Mouth’, the same as the favorite drink in the area.
The main reason for all these problems with soda is that it contains citric acid – a preservative used to improve the taste and the shelf life of the drink. It has the ability to erode first the enamel ad then the dentin, which is the protective area of the tooth. Citric acid is also added in high amounts in the energy drinks.
Other health conditions caused by high sugar intake
There are many other health problems caused by high sugar intake, besides the tooth decay. High intake of sugar can also damage the liver and can also cause non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. It is also the main culprit of developing insulin resistance – which later leads to type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome and other health problems. Sugar also increases the risk of cancer.
The amount of sugar consumption increases constantly and it is also responsible for obesity in adults and also in children. Sugar is highly addictive food and it lowers the feeling of satiety, and thus makes people incapable of controlling the quantity of sugar and food that they eat. In the last 30 years, obesity numbers have risen for 4 times the amount in adolescents, and childhood obesity has doubled in children. Statistics show that over 1/3 of adolescents and children are obese or overweight in 2012.
The long-term health effects match the momentary health effects.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that people who are overweight, especially overweight youth have increased risk for social and psychological issues such as low self-esteem, sleep apnea, joint and bone problems, prediabetes and cardiovascular disease. Overweight and obese children and also adolescents will probably grow into obese adults, and having increased risk of osteoarthritis, various types of cancer, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. In order to protect the teeth from tooth decay caused by soda, the New Zealand Dental Association recommends the parents to only give milk and water to their small children. The soda industry does not confirm these claims that their products are responsible for tooth decay, but nutrition experts and dentists say the contrary. The problem with the case of the three year old child with 11 rotten teeth due to high sugar intake is further more than just soda.
Here is a video with some extra information about sodas with no sugar, and the effect of its ingredients.