January 12, 2013

Association Between Soda And Depression

The Huffington Post had an article (as redOrbit also reported) on the relationship between depression and soda or high-sugar fruit drinks. The article explained that a new study found an association between drinking four cups/cans of soda or fruit punch daily. The study showed that those who drank four cups or cans of soda had an associated thirty percent higher risk of depression while those who drank four cups or cans of fruit punch had a thirty-eight percent associated higher risk of depression.

And drinking diet did not help; there was an even more pronounced association between those who drank four cups or cans of diet soda or diet fruit punch than those who drank regular soda. The study could not determine an exact cause/effect relationship, but it definitely showed an association between sugary soda and fruit drinks and depression.

There are many reasons to limit our soda intake, namely calories, sodium, and unnatural ingredients. This is just another reason to at least consider minimizing soda drinking. Depression is incredibly serious. It is not just feeling down or punky; depression can be debilitating. If watching what we eat or drink minimizes our chances of depression, then so be it. I’m in for that.

A nice soda pop on occasion is not bad. The problem comes when all we drink is soda. Diet soda may have less calories, but it often has artificial sweeteners and sodium that make it dangerous. Soda has been known to contribute to heart attacks, metabolic syndrome, fatty liver disease, weight gain, osteoporosis, and type 2 diabetes. And now there may even be a connection between soda—diet and regular—and depression. All of these deserve much attention and consideration.

I know that limiting soda drinking will be very hard for many individuals. For some people, sodas are the only hydration they get on any given day. The sugary sweetness is addicting. But it is also hurting our health. Though the study on the Huffington Post does not provide absolute proof that soda contributes to depression, there is enough data out there to make us rethink how much soda we drink. Complete abstinence is not necessarily what I am advocating here, but we should at least minimize how much soda we drink.

On the plus side, the study also found that drinking four cups of black coffee daily had an association with a ten percent lower risk of depression. This is more good news for all of us coffee drinkers. As if coffee was not good enough already, apparently it may also help us avoid the seriousness of depression.

Coffee has also been found to help lower the risk of oral cancer, stroke, and diabetes. Where four cups of soda hurt heart health and is associated with depression, coffee may help heart health and lower the risk of depression. Those two alone are pretty awesome. Plus, it is so delicious!

For those who drink coffee with cream and sugar, they may want to just drink it black. Not only would they be lowering their calorie and fat intake, but they would possibly lower their risk of depression. Coffee has some serious goodness in all its antioxidants.

Image Credit: vonzolomon / Shutterstock

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Email


Rayshell E. Clapper is an Associate Professor of English at a rural college in Oklahoma where she teaches Creative Writing, Literature, and Composition classes. She has presented her original fiction and non-fiction at several conferences and events including: Scissortail Creative Writing Festival, Howlers and Yawpers Creativity Symposium, Southwest/Texas Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association Regional Conference, and Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association National Conference. Her publications include Cybersoleil Journal, Sugar Mule Literary Magazine, Red Dirt Anthology, Originals, and Oklahoma English Journal. Beyond her written works, she successfully created a writer's group in rural Oklahoma to support burgeoning writers. The written word is her passion, and all she experiences inspires that passion. She hopes to help inspire others through her words.

Send Rayshell an email