In my book, SuperSized Kids: How to protect your child from the obesity threat, I discuss that sodas not only are associated with obesity, but may well be associated with the weakening of bones due to the heavy load of phosphoric acid in the sodas.
The Los Angeles Times reports that researchers are now “trying to figure out how and why, precisely, drinking soda” may weaken bones.
In the past, “researchers surmised … that soda took its toll on bones because children who drank soda did so in place of milk.”
Investigators are now testing “the theory that phosphoric acid in soda harms bones,” based on findings from a 2005 study in the journal Osteoporosis International that indicated “minerals were being removed from bone, and not replaced” in men who “consumed a low-calcium diet and 2.5 liters of soda daily for 10 days.”
My concern is that a person’s maximum bone density occurs in their early twenties. Thereafter, the bones begin to thin. So, building bone strength in our children and adolescents is critical to reducing their risk of osteopenia, osteoporosis, and fractures later in life.
However, if our children are drinking more sodas, and taking in fewer dairy products, then we (and our children) may, in the future, be facing a tidal wave of bony related problems.
For now, what’s a parent to do?
- Significantly decrease or eliminate sodas from our child’s diet,
- Significantly increase our child’s intake of fat-free dairy products, and/or
- Talk to your child’s physician about giving your child a calcium and vitamin D supplement.