The Scary Ingredient Hiding In Soda

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There are plenty of reasons that teens should opt for a glass of water instead of grabbing a can of cola. From the negative impact on their memory to the excessive amount of sugar, it’s not the healthiest choice. Now more research proves the scary side of soft drinks. According to a study at John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the caramel color in soda may contain 4-methylimidazole (4-MEI) — a possible carcinogen, which in other words poses a potential cancer risk.

Keeve Nachman, PhD, senior author of the study and director of the Food Production and Public Health Program at the CLF, says:

Soft drink consumers are being exposed to an avoidable and unnecessary cancer risk from an ingredient that is being added to these beverages simply for aesthetic purposes. This unnecessary exposure poses a threat to public health and raises questions about the continued use of caramel coloring in soda.

Despite the potential risk, there’s no federal limit for 4-MEI in foods or beverages, according to Science Daily. Urvashi Rangan, PhD, executive director for Consumer Reports’ Food Safety and Sustainability Center, explains:

This new analysis underscores our belief that people consume significant amounts of soda that unnecessarily elevate their risk of cancer over the course of a lifetime.

Share these facts with your teen so they are more aware of what they’re getting inside that soda can! It could help curb their cola habit.

For more about the effects of sugary beverages, check out the “Soda Shock” story from the January 2014 issue of Choices! Click the image below to read the article as a PDF:

Screen-Shot-2014-10-20-at-5.12.00-PM

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