Is it OK if my Child Drinks Clear Soda? Is it Better for You?
Parents wonder, are clear sodas really healthier than dark sodas? It looks clear, it’s not brown, it smells like lemon-lime … it must be OK, right? Cook Children’s pediatrician, Dr. Raj, dives in with the answers.
During routine yearly checkups, we ask about your child’s nutrition including soda consumption. When I ask this, parents often respond, “no doc, we don’t give him/her soda," but add that if they do drink soda, it's clear, such as Sprite, 7up, Sierra Mist), etc. But parents wonder, are clear sodas really healthier than dark sodas? It looks clear, it’s not brown, it smells like lemon-lime…it must be OK, right? Not so much. Let’s look into this a little further.
So first let’s first start with the simple fact that clear sodas are still soda! We discourage sodas for several reasons but mainly for the sugar content. For example, a can of Sprite has 38 grams of sugar and a can of Coke has 39 g of sugar. So you can see there’s not much of a difference between the two. That’s about 9 teaspoons of sugar in one can!!
Studies show that kids who drink more than 10% of their daily calories from added sugar are more likely to have abnormal cholesterol levels and a higher chance of getting Type 2 diabetes.
The other main reason we discourage sodas is the caffeine content. It is true that clear sodas do not have caffeine. However, there are many other options for a hydrating drink without sugar such as good old-fashioned water. If your child does not like water, try adding fresh fruit or mint or from time to time try a zero-sugar sparkling water to satisfy that craving for “fizz.”
So what about diet sodas? Most experts would recommend that children should avoid diet sodas in kids. Many diet sodas are sweetened with artificial sweeteners and long terms effects are still not clear.
There you have it! Clear soda is not a healthy choice for a drink. Opt for water!
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