The Confessions of a Soft DrinkHello. I am a humble, effervescent liquid. Humble? Well, that is debatable. Actually, I am quite proud of myself. Allow me to brag a little.
I fizz, sparkle, and bubble my way into thousands of people all over the world, every day. I HAVE MUCH POWER! I cause masses of humanity to make beelines for snack dispensers in plush, high-rise buildings. I stir men, women, and teenagers to dash into their cars late at night to speed to their nearest 24-hour convenience store.
To give me an appetizing brown tint, I contain caramel coloring, which has genetic effects and is a cancer causing suspect. I sometimes have polyethylene glycol as one of my ingredients. Glycol is used as anti-freeze in automobiles, and as an oil solvent.
The bubbles and fizz with which I potently burn human insides is caused by my phosphoric acid. The phosphorus in the acid upsets the body's calcium-phosphorus ratio and dissolves calcium out of the bones. This can eventually result in OSTEOPOROSIS, a weakening of the skeletal structure, which can make one susceptible to broken bones. Also, the phosphorus fights with the hydrochloric acid in human stomachs and renders it ineffective. This promotes indigestion, bloating and gassiness in many individuals.
I offer a selection of three types of sweeteners, according to the customer's preference. The sweeteners are: Saccharin or Aspartame in the diet type, and sugar or corn syrup in my regular drinks. These substances enhance my appeal and come disguised as 'good' for everyone. However, tastes can be deceiving! Let me explain.
SACCHARIN is an artificial sweetener which has raised some concern about cancer in laboratory animals. There are warning labels on containers in which saccharin is an ingredient. ASPARTAME, the more common "diet" sweetener, has been linked to convulsions, depression, insomnia, irritability, weakness, dizziness, headaches, mood changes and mental retardation. SUGAR and CORN SYRUP can induce both HYPOGLYCEMIA (low blood sugar), and HYPERGLYCEMIA (high blood sugar), in susceptible individuals. Hypoglycemia has been linked to mental illness and hyperglycemia to diabetes. Sugar gives you a lift or burst of energy, then sends you crashing down to severe fatigue. To get another charge, more sugary drinks are consumed. This pattern exhausts the adrenal glands and leaves a person with a chronic tired feeling.
GORGEOUS! THAT'S WHAT I AM! I come dressed in a shiny metal can in various colors and tints. Sometimes I am silver, sometimes gold, sometimes blue, red, etc. I beckon and dazzle shoppers as they stroll past me in the supermarket. On a HOT DAY, I am especially ATTRACTIVE, and hands reach for cases of me to share with friends at picnics and parties. However, I am very tricky. My thirst-quenching liquid, which is alluringly encased in the aluminum can, contains traces of the same metal. The acid in the soft drink eats away the aluminum, which floats around until it is ingested by the consumer. Aluminum is a very toxic substance and builds up in the human body. It has a particular affinity for the brain and has been linked to the degenerative senility affliction, ALZHEIMER'S Disease.