We may all be looking for a source to blame for the COVID-19 deaths. But there’s one surprising subject that has people pointing their fingers — soda.
In Mexico, the soda brand receiving the blame is Coca-Cola. The Mexican COVID-19 czar blames Mexico’s high consumption of Coca-Cola for coronavirus deaths. He cites Coca-Cola for the presence of diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure in Mexico’s population, all pre-existing conditions that may lead to COVID complications and deaths.
According to a study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, three-quarters of the population is overweight, which Mexico’s czar attributes to high soda consumption. Soda companies deliver to all parts of Mexico, even very remote areas. In rural towns, clean drinkable water is costly and hard to come by. Soda, on the other hand, is cheaper and more available than water. In hard-to-reach homes, soda may be easier to find than water. Mexico consumes about 163 liters of soda per year, more than any other country.
Although soda consumption and its adverse health effects are not new issues in Mexico, the country’s coronavirus czar remains adamant that soda is to blame for its COVID-19 deaths. However, other Mexican officials believe that the lack of contact tracing and the need for a robust testing plan are the reasons for the rapid spread of COVID.
Not surprisingly, Mexico’s beverage companies rebuke the czar’s observations. They attribute only 6% of Mexico’s daily sugar intake to soda consumption and see themselves as scapegoats for Mexico’s poor handling of the pandemic.
Pandemic notwithstanding, public health officials in Mexico—and all over the world—agree that sugary soft drinks are bad for our health. The following are eight reasons why you should curb your soda habit.
8. Sugar in Soda Increases Your Belly Fat
It’s common knowledge that sugar intake is linked with weight gain. However, the fructose sugar in most sodas causes dangerous belly fat to accumulate. This type of fat, called visceral fat, is connected to diabetes and heart disease.
7. Sodas Contain No Nutrients
Soda contains almost no nutrients but is often high in calories. The calories come from its high sugar content. Although sugar tastes great, it has practically no nutritional benefits.