Topic summary contributed by volunteer(s): Paul
Concern that one of the most commonly consumed food colorings may cause cancer has led to changes in soft drink formulation in California. Evidence from PET scans suggests brain activity changes due to the overconsumption of sugar may parallel that of drug addiction. The consumption of phosphorus preservatives in junk food including soda may damage blood vessels, accelerate the aging process, and contribute to osteoporosis. In response to definitive evidence showing that artificial colors may increase hyperactivity among children, a call has been made by consumer groups to ban food dyes. When combined with ascorbic acid in soda, the additive sodium benzoate can form the carcinogen, benzene.
Given that obesity is a contributing cause of chronic disease in the United States, food corporations including the soft drink industry can be thought of as the new vectors of disease. Collaboration between corporations such as McDonald’s, Pepsi, Coca-Cola, and the Registered Dietitian organization (formally known as the American Dietetic Association), may have influenced the ADA to publically announce that “there are no good or bad foods”. The Coca-Cola Company even acknowledges that sugar is just empty calories with no micronutrients, yet billions in tax dollars are still used to subsidize the very foods that are making us sick.
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons. This image has been modified.