Soft drinks, including sugar-free, linked to in... - Thyroid UK

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Soft drinks, including sugar-free, linked to increased risk of early death

helvella profile image

Article, probably quoted across the media, potentially of interest.

Soft drinks, including sugar-free, linked to increased risk of early death

Drink more water, say experts as they argue study proves need for curbs on consumption

For those who have acceptable tap water, there are also potentially significant savings by switching back to water. On top of the direct cost of the drink, there are issues about packaging and recycling, etc.

41 Replies

Unfortunately many young people drink such rubbish and they don’t really listen when told how bad such drinks are! I have also noticed many adults - who ought to know better perhaps - drink these too...

It’s all down to marketing and money making!

helvella profile image
helvellaAdministrator in reply to JGBH

There are times I am, even now, shocked at quite how much "fizzy pop" I see some people buying at the supermarket.

(Well aware that what you see someone buy doesn't necessarily represent their entire diet! Daren't think what others might sometimes make of my purchasing. Though the other day someone did wistfully glance back at the belt and remark how healthy it all looked. Pure chance. :-) )

JGBH profile image
JGBH in reply to helvella

Good on you healthy foods in your trolley! Always plenty of vegetables, fruits, fish and chicken in mine plus the odd bar of delicious dark chocolate with hazelnuts and at times naughty pastries 😩. However no fizzy drinks perhaps with the exception of fevertree ginger beer...

But I do get a little surprised to see trolleys full of sparkling soft drinks and humongous packets of crisps. However it might be difficult for some people to be able to afford healthier food types.

Happy food shopping!

bantam12 profile image
bantam12 in reply to JGBH

Plus some people are limited in what they can eat, I have ulcerative colitis so the " healthy foods" are mainly out of the question, I can't eat much in the way of veg or fruit, no nuts, beans or pulses, no brown bread, no coffee, no alcohol, no spices, the list goes on. My shopping trolley looks unhealthy and does contain fizzy drinks but hey ho I have to be allowed some pleasures in life 😉

JGBH profile image
JGBH in reply to bantam12

Yes, this is a most difficult situation whereby you have very little choice. It must be so difficult and frustrating for you. So, enjoy your odd fizzy drinks...

Besides wishes.

greygoose profile image
greygoose in reply to JGBH

Perhaps they're just having a party?

TSH110 profile image
TSH110 in reply to helvella

I fail to see their appeal I never liked them even as a child and in those days they were a really unusual treat - wasted on me I though they tasted horrible, were all gassy and trying to get one down was a hideous ordeal. Perhaps it is like smoking if you persist enough addiction takes over and no matter how vile it is you crave more. The only time Coca-Cola was refreshing to

me was in the throws of malaria - it has the perfect salt/sugar balance for rehydration when you can’t even move your head without feeling like your brain is smashing against your skull - the headache is so horrendous and nothing else is possible to ingest, even plain water. But as for glugging it down on a daily basis like some people - no chance. Can’t people tell it is sugary poison only to be drunk where emergency hydration is needed?

SilverAvocado profile image
SilverAvocado in reply to TSH110

I imagine they are addictive in a few ways. When I was in my early twenties I had a few friends clearly addicted, they would drink litres a day and always had a bottle nearby.

I now know a couple, friends of a friend, who are just as bad in their thirties. They are both very particular of the brand, one had diet coke and the other one of the many types of pepsi, and they throw a bottle away if it's been open too long and the fizz has gone down. I don't see why anyone would go to all that trouble if there wasn't addiction involved :p

But I think that the sugar-free ones are probably worse than the originals - at least the human body knows how to process sugar, but chemical sweeteners???

Not sure if the sugar free ones help with malaria dehydration either

I also think with the sugar free people are able to drink a lot more of it. If it had sugar you'd feel satiated eventually.

They push the sugar free A LOT. I sometimes ask friends and acquaintences if they realise a drink is sugar free (ie laden with weird sweeteners) and chose it on purpose in the shop, and almost always they will say no. They'd have been just as happy to buy real sugar, but don't read labels. This is in squashs and things given to tiny kids as well as for adults :(

This is why it annoys me sooooo much that I can rarely buy anything other than sugar free squash for my kids!! For years I searched for those sugar filled drinks but it’s becoming relentlessly hard and now I’m afraid I’ve given up because of costs! Before my kids were teenagers they had 1 glass of squash a day with their evening meal. Then as each one became a teenager they help themselves. Everyone has said I’m mad to want the real sugar one bit I’ve always said we just don’t know the repercussion yet, I’d rather the have sugar and just learn to moderate themselves. BUT then my kid gains his independence at 10 to ride to friends and go pay sports and he’s buying those Monster drinks!! WTAF!!

So I show him videos and talk to him about how bad they are but his friends buy them and so he does, then I ground him and he then hides the evidence! I find and discipline again, I take his pocket money, someone else buys it for him. All year long I’ve had this but FINALLY I think he gets it. I’m not asking anyone to parent my child but please dear god a little help from the government to stop the sale of these drinks to under 16’s would be good 😩

TSH110 profile image
TSH110 in reply to NWA6

It must be really hard to stop them I think only sensible discussion about health ramifications and environmental implications could win youngsters over who are targeted by the multinationals peddling this 💩

NWA6 profile image
NWA6 in reply to TSH110

It IS hard to dictate to teenagers. Kids I’m fine with being a dictator, they all ate really healthy and sweet stuff in moderation, usually on a Saturday and desserts on Sundays but I’ve never been a ‘Finnish all your meals mum’ I just don’t cook alternative meals if someone doesn’t like a meal, like it or lump it 😂 (one of my sons doesn’t like potatoes! Can you believe he’s half Irish! 😂 but after 7yrs of always putting them on his plate in one form or another he now eats chips and baked potatoes! One of my daughters never like peas but after 12yrs she now eats peas!)

I know my kids make terrible choices sometimes and regularly but one of my daughters just came back from the Reading festival after 5 days of junk she was begging for a home cooked meal. So I’m not worrying too much, I’m sure they’ll revert back to the good choices as adults

TSH110 profile image
TSH110 in reply to NWA6

Ha ha you have to be cruel to be kind! Despite my parents best efforts to make me eat meat that one never succeeded, but I think you are right about reverting back to healthy choices eventually. I was a horror story as a teenager - you have to make your own mistakes in life, I suppose it is part of the learning process as no one else can live your life for you. I am more like my parents every day, sometimes I think I have become my mother!

Furface profile image
Furface in reply to NWA6

The government will never step in to make us healthier. Many pharmaceutical drugs also have artificial sweeteners in . . . , . Which makes no sense as you swallow them with water. Some brands of Levo have Mannitol in etc. Have read on so many natural health sites and in books now about the dangers of artificial sweeteners and how the FDA gave it the green light even after they found out about its toxicity. (It was easier to leave it out there in the food and diet industry than to admit it was dangerous and have to recall it).

LowB12 profile image
LowB12 in reply to Furface

I’ve complain to my pharmacist about a current change in brand they made to one with artificial sweetener. They were completely you say if you swallow them why do they need to be sweet tasting?!

They swapped to another, apologising, someone else collected this months and guess what...sweetened again!

Furface profile image
Furface in reply to LowB12

Its disgusting, no regard is given to patients, its all about whats cheapest. They are not to be trusted in my experience. They assume switching one brand for another is unimportant regardless of nasty fillers. Recently i was given a drug with Polysorbate 80 in, bought me out in hives and racing heart. On researching i know now that this has no place in the human body! will be avoiding that in future. . . . .

helvella profile image
helvellaAdministrator in reply to Furface

Not sure if I am reading in something you are not saying? Mannitol does occur quite widely in nature. I wouldn't call it an artificial sweetener.

Furface profile image
Furface in reply to helvella

Direct from vegetables and fruits is fine by me but once messed with, a different matter. Mannitol upsets me and possible side effects are similar to hypo symptoms, worryingly depression and chest pain, weight gain, tightness in throat, hypotension, reduced urination. Why put anything sweet in a medication designed to be swallowed with water, i wonder, it makes no sense to me. . . . . nothing is ever put in these medications for the benefit of the patient, its usually so for a preservative, for binding qualities, ease of manufacturing etc . . . .

'Repeated frequent doses of mannitol can leach into the brain and worsen cerebral edema in the long term.

Mannitol can worsen renal function and precipitate renal failure.'

Think I would rather give it a miss . . . . . .

helvella profile image
helvellaAdministrator in reply to Furface

What would you put into thyroid hormone tablets?

Whatever you choose has to have virtually no impact on the hormone, has to allow the thyroid hormone to be absorbed, etc.

(I disliked Teva levothyroxine and the reason might be the mannitol. Howver, some seem to find it better than any other they have tried.)

Furface profile image
Furface in reply to helvella

Yes, its a difficult one to answer and with more and more of us adding auto immune conditions to those we already have along with allergies and intolerances, all this is exactly why we should all be treated as individuals. One of the problems is that Drs just think we are failing to take it properly, for goodness sake, its not rocket science (they wrongly assume we are stupid). The pharmaceutical companies only think of us as identical bodies generally. We are all different but for me, NDT was effective as opposed to Teva Levo which eventually had me bed bound, sadly they don't offer me that so i self source like many people.

Hmmm a big bold statement that leaves me feeling a bit skeptical. I havent fogotten the butter is bad mania that hit us all and they had us all eating margarine full of unmentionable substances, saying it was far more healthy. Now thats been chucked out.

Im a firm believer in a little bit of what you fancy is the best way forward. Am sure water is great for you, especially filtered or spring water but in that case doesnt it also rule out coffee, tea, and all the other beverages? Really? Nope..... Life is for living.....if that means I die a few years early so be it!! Id be particularly annoyed if I followed their current guidance to find out 15years down the line that it wasnt the diet fizzy drink at all but all the other processed food and lack of activity that did it!!

TSH110 profile image
TSH110 in reply to waveylines

I can’t see how fizzy drinks could not be bad for you even in moderation they are so alien to our digestive system. What in nature even vaguely resembles them? How come the poor health of our children coincides with their widespread consumption. I would not add 8 spoons of sugar to some water and drink it repeatedly throughout the day and expect it to do me good.

I would think a combination of consuming excess sugar, a diet of heavily processed foods and lack of exercise would add add up to a lot of ill health. Personally I’d avoid all three as a lifestyle choice.

Look at that boy that has gone blind eating total rubbish since childhood and despite loosing his sight and becoming deaf he persists in eating the same damaging diet to which he must have become completely addicted.

I agree that life is to be lived to the full and enjoyed and most things in moderation are most likely no problem but these drinks are not being consumed in moderation - there has to be consequences to any action - guzzling sugary fizzy drinks all day long is simply not compatible with good health.

bantam12 profile image
bantam12 in reply to TSH110

Better fizzy drinks than alcohol !

TSH110 profile image
TSH110 in reply to bantam12

I don’t drink alcohol either! Alcoholism is pretty horrendous. I have seen several people close to me succumb, it has not been pleasant to experience.

I am not sure how fizzy processed drinks compare to alcoholic ones health wise. I imagine the claimed benefits of consuming alcohol are more to do with the benefits of socialising and being able to afford nice food, a home etc as well as the booze...

It is an interesting one to ponder Bantam.

In the Middle Ages even children were given beer to drink rather than water. It was quite nutritious apparently and safe.

DIYqueen profile image
DIYqueen in reply to TSH110

safer than the water in fact

TSH110 profile image
TSH110 in reply to DIYqueen

Yes that is why they drank beer

bantam12 profile image
bantam12 in reply to TSH110

I don't drink alcohol so lemonade, coke , elderflower or whatever are a good alternative. I've known 2 teenage alcoholics so they would have been better sticking to fizzy !

TSH110 profile image
TSH110 in reply to bantam12

That is sad at teenage. I do like elderflower I must admit

It's a complex question, isn't it? Once as a younger person in an effort to give up alcohol I ordered a pint of Coke in a pub, and then someone bought me a second one!

I would be very surprised if a pint of beer is worse for you than a pint of coke, and of course some beers are less processed and nasty than others.

TSH110 profile image
TSH110 in reply to SilverAvocado

My dad always said if you were going to become an alcoholic to try and stick to beer as you would get away with it for a lot longer than with spirits

I know nothing about beer but I would rather my kids drank coke than alcohol anyday !

waveylines profile image
waveylines in reply to TSH110

True they may well be consumed in large quantities by some. So is alchohol but its not banned!! I agree that with children there needs to be protection but, as an adult , I would like to make my own choices please...not be dictated too.

TSH110 profile image
TSH110 in reply to waveylines

Oh I don’t believe in dictating, even though I don’t think they are healthy - which was my issue, I can’t see how one could ban them and I agree that you have every right to drink what you choose.

I do think that drinking lots of Diet Coke contributed to a decline in my overall health a few years ago. Aspartame’s got more lawsuits and complaints about its health affects to the US food and drug administration than any other ‘food’ substance on the planet.

Life is clearly about balance. Research like this is trying to get those binge consumers off excessive and addictive fizzy drinks that they consume every day with most meals or giving to their kids. It’s not good for you , but the odd drink here and there isn’t going to kill you. It’s the excess of anything that kills you! Keep a balance!

Having a water softener and reverse osmosis fitted a few years ago was the best thing we did. I take my water with me wherever I go in the UK.

Next time you are in a supermarket see if you can see more than 10% healthy! I would say over 90% of the contents are toxic.

Glad to see that non thyroid health concerns are being discussed again.

It seems to me that there is a big difference in quantity between less than 1 per month and 2 per day. Why no mention of what the numbers were for 1 per day?

I'm always astounded at people who 'don't like water' or 'it has no taste' and therefore don't drink it. It must be so expensive.

The BBC had a reasonably balanced item on this -

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