Soda and alcoholic beverages have no season. People want them in the summer to cool off and, especially wine and liquor, in the winter to warm up. The good news is that fewer people consume soda – 63 percent avoided it in 2014 compared to 41 percent in 2002, according to Gallup – but many still can’t resist the sweet beverage – the average person drinks 45 gallons a year.
The bad news is that people may have replaced soda with booze. A recent study found that heavy drinking among Americans rose by 17.2 percent between 2005 and 2012. To make matters worse, people consume more in a shorter period of time. Binging is up almost 9 percent. Excessive drinking is when you have more than four drinks a night or more than eight a week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC. A report from 2014 found 54 direct and indirect ways – from car crashes to depression and cirrhosis – in which alcohol can be lead to death.
Sugary sodas have been losing to diet ones for several years now. A lot of research has proven how unhealthy sugar is. A recent one even made a connection between soda and life expectancy decrease by 4.6 years because the sugar damages telomeres, which affect how cells age. So while people are getting rid of one harmful substance, they are inviting several others. Diet sodas taste the same as regular ones because they have artificial sweeteners. They play tricks on the brain in a worse way than sugary sodas. It thinks the body is consuming more calories than it actually is, eventually leading to appetite problems. In the end, people end up eating more. All of this is so discouraging, you are better off just drinking water, tea or smoothies.
Alcohol has some more immediate effects such as loss of coordination, impaired vision and slower breathing but, just like diet soda, it can kill you if you consume a lot of it on regular basis. Combine the two and you’ll get drunk faster because you end up drinking more, according to a Northern Kentucky University study. The artificial sweeteners speed up the absorption of alcohol.
The World Health Organization says that alcohol kills more than 3 million people worldwide each year. That is one person every 10 seconds. The causes vary from driving accidents to violence and health problems linked to excessive drinking.