Sugar-laden sodas are a large reason why childhood obesity rates have tripled in the last 30 years.
And they’re blamed for good reason: One 12-ounce can of soda contains upwards of 200 calories and 35 grams of sugar. However, obesity isn’t the only health problem that can result from excessive soda slurping, as writer Andy Campbell reveals in a terrifying essay for The Huffington Post.
Campbell says that as a 12-year-old he drank Mountain Dew… nothing else.
“When I say I drank a lot of Mountain Dew, I really mean it was the only thing I drank,” he writes. “For several months of my childhood, I had unlimited access to the neon-green sugar bomb, and I took a swig whenever I was thirsty.”
He blacked out one night before dinner and had to be rushed to the hospital. “… I couldn’t remember the last time I’d had a drink of water. It had been months,” he adds. “It turns out that I was suffering from extreme dehydration.”
Campbell says soda marketing to children is the reason for his addiction to the Dew. His habit started after a street crew for Mountain Dew showed up at his summer camp and he was hooked after that. The obsession almost cost him his life. Basically, all of the water in his body was replaced with corn syrup.
“When I got to the hospital, it took three medical personnel to find my veins, because without much water, they were completely collapsed.” he writes. “My treatment was a gigantic bag of hydrating fluids, and I was told I should never drink soda again.”
His obsession seems a bit extreme, but it’s really not that far out there for many of today’s children. If they’re not swigging soda, they’ll throw back an energy drink. A recent study by Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of Connecticut found that 35 percent of eighth-graders consumed at least one energy drink in the past year and 18 percent consumed more than one.
Let that go unsupervised and out come children riddled with a whole host of health problems, including obesity, Type II diabetes, anxiety, ADHD — and even death. And no, diet soda isn’t any better.
Let’s just agree to only give kids water from now on, OK?