Nutrition: Dietary Sugars and Sugary Drink

Sodas such as Coke and Pepsi contain nutrition fact labels that clearly indicate the quantity of sugar, caffeine, water, sodium, and how much calories the drink contains (Nestle & Baer, 2015).  A soda contains very low sodium of about 45 milligrams and is, therefore a non-issue for nutrition in soda as compared to sugar where a 12-ounce Coke or Pepsi contains at least 10 teaspoons. Sugar in soda comprises the largest amount of calories with no nutritional value and leads to a wide range of health issues.

The Council on Food and Nutrition of the American Medical Association noted a sharp increase in consumption of sugars by the American citizen and advised physicians to encourage patients to stop the intake of sugar and carbonated drinks (Nestle & Baer, 2015). The council recommended the control of adverts showing sugary diets near schools and the consumption of soft drinks by the military. Sugar often compromises the quality of nutritional diet and this could lead to inadequate consumption of important nutrients such as minerals and vitamins in the body.

Sugar promotes weight gain, increases the risk of getting diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic diseases. United States Department of Agriculture in conjunction with the department of Health and Human Services developed guidelines that informed government policy and recommended sugar reduction (Nestle & Baer, 2015). The dietary guidelines were used as a guide in developing nutrition education programs by health professionals and setting standards for federal food assistance programs.

It’s clear from the article that consumption of soft drinks has far more negative side effects than positive ones with the World Health Organization reporting that individuals consuming soda had a 50% chance of becoming obese as compared to those who didn’t (Nestle & Baer, 2015).  The Institute of Medicine recommends the adoption of policies that reduce the practice of consuming beverages that contain too much sugar. This can be achieved by putting a ban on soft drinks in schools, increasing taxes on soft drinks, and encouraging physicians to inform their patients on the detrimental effects of consuming soda.




Nestle, M., & Baer, N. (2015). Soda Politics: Taking on Big Soda (and Winning) Oxford University Press. New York, NY, USA.

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