Stay away from soft drinks

Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) calls upon the Malaysians to stay away from sweetened soft drinks which have proven to be a threat to our health.
Soft drinks contain approximately 6 to 12 teaspoons of sugar and the number of these drinks being consumed by Malaysians is increasing daily.  According to a recent news report 1,000 canned drinks are consumed every minute in Malaysia.

Due to our warm and humid weather, soft drinks are a craze for Malaysians who look for a quick thirst quencher. In doing so, we actually end up consuming a substantial amount of sugar in the drinks which actually dehydrates our bodies further. Children have a greater desire for soft drinks due to its high sugar content and which come in attractive colours and flavours.  The easy availability of soft drinks at affordable prices makes Malaysian consumers fill their shopping trolleys with a variety of soft drinks when they go shopping.  Their children take this opportunity to grab their choice of soft drinks without any objection from their parents.

Most soft drinks are nothing but carbonated, coloured, acidified, flavoured, sweetened water which spells danger to our health.  Despite this soft drinks are the beverage of choice for millions of Malaysians.   They are also a prime source of extra calories that can contribute to unhealthy weight gain.  Once thought of as an innocuous refreshment, soft drinks now come under scrutiny for their contributions to the development of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and other chronic conditions.

According to some scientists, fructose sugar in some soft drinks acts like a fat.  Unlike other sugars, which are broken down by other organs of the body, fructose heads straight to the liver and is deposited as fat.

High phosphoric acid levels in soft drinks inhibits the growth of bone. Studies show that children who frequently drink soft drinks are more vulnerable to broken bones in addition to childhood obesity and diabetes.

Questions may arise in the minds of Malaysians as to what to serve to their families and friends if not soft drinks especially during festive seasons.  As we are all aware, Malaysians inherit a very rich food culture.  If we could make an effort to revive traditional recipes we could create our own soft drinks which are healthier and cheaper. These traditional drinks are not only tasty and refreshing but also carry medicinal values.  Elderly people in our homes could guide us on this.  A bit of extra work can do wonders to preserve our health.

The festive season is meant to be a season of joy and it is our responsibility to ensure that this joy manifests itself in health and longevity.  Enjoying festive seasons with sugary soft drinks and ending up with life threatening diseases defeats the very purpose of the festival.

Press Statement, 7 September 2010

See the actual amount of sugar found in soft drinks in CAPs Sugar Infoslides