Everyone knows that carbonated drinks contain a lot of sugar and it contributes to obesity in kids. The other reason to avoid soda which is consistently publicized by health fanatics is that it causes dental problem, especially with children because such carbonated drinks contain acids that can corrode our teeth.
However, a latest research released by the consumer reports and center for livable future at the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, your topmost reason for avoiding soda should be to avoid Cancer. The main concern regarding soda being a carcinogenic agent found is because it contains the caramel-looking compound 4-methylimidazole (4-MeI), a substance used to make colas and other food items brown in color.
“Every day, more than half of Americans between the ages of 6 and 64 typically drink soda in amounts that could expose them to enough 4-MeI to increase their cancer risk,” state the Consumer Reports findings. “We looked at 110 samples of colas and other soft drinks purchased in California and the New York metropolitan region. Excluding a clear soda used as a control, we found that average 4-MeI levels in the samples we tested ranged from 3.4 to 352.5 micrograms (mcg) per 12-ounce bottle or can.”
Despite marketing blitz in our age of consumerism that targets children as the main market for soda that is often associated with many hip-hop and sport personalities to catch the children’s interest, soda is still an unhealthy drink and a main concern for cancer, according to this public health report as reported by LaOpinion.
4-MeI is not a new carcinogen. This compound has been on the danger list for a number of years, and has been a known ingredient in certain pharmaceuticals, photographic chemicals, dyes and pigments, cleaning and agricultural chemicals, rubber products, and food items. According to the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), studies from the federal government’s National Toxicology Program showed that long-term exposure to 4-MEL resulted in increases in lung cancer in male and female mice, and high concentrations were reported to irritate the lungs or burn the eyes and skin.
Unfortunately, 4-MeI is not unique to just cola. OEHHA notes the carcinogen is naturally created through certain cooking processes, and cooking, roasting, or other food processing, such as the roasting of coffee beans, may also lead to formation of 4-MEI.