Saturday, February 28, 2015

Stop the Pop! Part ll

Previously, Big Sister Marsha, RN, MSN, talked about the health hazards of drinking sugary drinks, and not just soda pop, either. Juice, and sports drinks, as she noted, are also full of sugar. Too often, we assume that these are healthy alternatives to soft drinks. In a recent study, which I read about here, Harvard researchers found links between consumption of sugary drinks and various health issues for young girls. Like BSM, the study didn't differentiate between these beverage options, and its findings ranged from the obvious result of too much sugar consumption (obesity) and the not so obvious:
Among nearly 5,600 girls aged 9 to 14 who were followed between 1996 and 2001, the researchers found that those who drank more than 1.5 servings of sugary drinks a day had their first period 2.7 months earlier than those who drank two or fewer of these drinks a week.
Starting your period two to three months earlier than average doesn't sound like that big a deal, does it? However, study author Jenny Carwile, a postdoctoral associate at the Harvard School of Public Health, in Boston, goes on to say:
"Starting periods early is a risk factor for depression during adolescence and breast cancer during adulthood. Thus, our findings have implications beyond just starting menstruation early." 
I highly recommend reading the whole article, but in case you are pressed for time, it closes with excellent observations and solid advice (emphasis mine):

Samantha Heller, a senior clinical nutritionist at New York University Langone Medical Center in New York City, said, "Sugar-sweetened drinks, such as sodas, have no nutritional value. One may wonder what nutrients -- such as vitamins, minerals and protein -- are being replaced by these drinks that can lead to this metabolic problem," she added.
"Whatever the reasons for the earlier start of periods, there is no good reason for anyone to be drinking sugar-sweetened drinks or sodas regularly, at any age," Heller said.

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