Child looking at glass of soda next to pile of sugar

How Breaking The Soda Habit May Help Your Child’s Health

Among many of the bad habits that are easy for children to get into, drinking soda is one of them. Sugary drinks, beverages with added sugars often have more sugars than what’s daily recommended for both children and adults, and often due to the long-term effects of sugar on the teeth, body weight, and heart health. For children, breaking their sugar cravings and limiting their soda intake to a minimum can help them grow and develop in healthier ways that will sustain them longer and help them live happier lives.

What Happens When Children Consume Soda?

Sodas, energy drinks, and other soft drinks with high amounts of sugar often present a collection of health problems for children long term. The sugar, caffeine, and other flavoring agents often added to these drinks can cause physical health problems to develop over time, including:

  • Obesity – Overtime, sugar consumption can cause fat accumulation along with the torso and legs areas of the body, as the excess fructose present in sodas often leads the body to store those unused calories into subcutaneous fat.
  • Diabetes – All those processed sugars often lead to an excess of glucose in the blood. Metabolic disorders can develop due to the imbalance of glucose and insulin production.
  • Dental Cavities – The teeth become highly prone to cavities and tooth decay due to the excess amounts of sugar that cause plaque development.
  • Risk of Cancer – For people who drink sugary drinks on a consistent basis, the risk of developing cancer increases.

However, children who also drink soda on a consistent basis will also suffer from behavioral problems, as the sugars and caffeine present in these soft drinks can also become addictive. According to The Journal of Pediatrics, signs of aggression, withdrawal, and attention problems have been linked to soft drink consumption in young children. The Journal of Clinical Medicine also cites this link, as the caffeine effect has been shown to be negative, causing neurological and cardiovascular problems to occur and can create a physical dependence on these kinds of drinks.

How To Break Your Child’s Soda Habit

Breaking your child’s soda habit isn’t easy, but by breaking the habit, you can encourage your child to drink healthier liquids such as water and milk and help them practice life-long health habits that will benefit them. For children experiencing behavioral problems due to a soda addiction, some tips for helping them break their soda habit can consist of:

  • Talk to Them About Healthy Choices – By talking to your child about the healthy choices they can make, it can help them understand the reasons behind your responses and help them understand their choices.
  • Make Cutting Soda A Team Effort – Cutting soda out of the house also requires consistency on everyone’s end, which means that making healthier choices also requires the entire family to participate.
  • Provide Healthier Alternatives – Other alternatives such as flavored water, fresh fruit drinks, and milk can help provide them with more nutrients to grow healthy.
  • Make Soda a Special Occasion – If you cannot cut soda completely from your home, make soda a special time for birthdays, Christmas, and other celebrations that help make the drink a once in while occasion.

Taking these steps to help your child break the soda habit will ensure they experience greater overall health. They’ll also avoid problems with cavities and tooth decay as well!

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