Last fall, the Chicago Dental Society turned its newspaper
journalism contest into a blogging contest open to any high school
student in Cook, Lake or DuPage County who answered the question,
"Is Soda Just Liquid Candy?"
Full details on how to enter are posted to our contest Web
page. Deadline for entries is February 1, 2010.
This entry is by Nia M.
Soda, the perfect combination of sugar and fizz. It
goes well with just about anything, and tastes especially good when
you're thirsty on a scorching summer day.
Sounds delicous, huh? Don't you just want a can right now?
Bet you wouldn't want any if I offered you a can of Sprite and said
"Hey. Do you want a can of high fructose corn syrup, caffeine,
seltzer water, and other chemicals I can't pronounce?"
Soda is good, I'm not going to lie and I savor the 6 to 8 ounces of
chemicals whenever I can.
Unfortunately, I only get to experience the refreshing taste of
soda a few times a year. My parents don't believe that my little
sister and I should be allowed to drink soda every day, so we only
get it on special occasions or when we go out to eat. When we go to
the movies, my sister and I split a large lemonade or an iced tea
while my parents share a Diet Coke. Even on Christmas or New Year's
Eve, they are still hesitant to let me have a can of Coca Cola and
force me to share it. My parents tell me that soda is just "sugar
water" and that it will mess up my teeth and rust my braces, even
though I promise to brush my teeth for fifteen minutes afterwards.
They also say that soda tastes disgusting, although they often
drink it at the dinner table.
Soda has been accepted as a part of society and can be seen
everywhere; from billboards to TV commercials, in the hands of
businessmen and teenagers. Soda is not only widely popular for its
wide array of flavor or the sizzling sound it makes. The extremely
low cost of soda is what really makes this fizzy drink attractive
to so many. McDonald's promotes a 32 oz. cup of Coca-Cola for only
$1, while healthier options, such as water and orange juice are
more expensive. Some corner stores sell cans of soda for as little
as .69 each, and 2 liter bottles of soda are often offered for an
extra $1.50 when you call in to order a pizza. In the World of
Coca-Cola in Atlanta, everyone is challenged to taste all 64
flavors of Coca-Cola and each visitor leaves with a free bottle.
When you look at the weekly paper, there's always a Dominick's or
Jewel's ad for a new "buy two, get one free" sale on 24-can cases
of soda. Soda is affordable and fits any budget, and perhaps that's
why it remains the favorite drink of many Americans. In the current
economic recession, people need as many ways to save money as they
possibly can, and sadly, soda is one of those cost-reducing
Sure. It's cheap, it's tasty, it's refreshing, it gives you a quick
energy burst. But what the billboards don't tell you is that soda
is filled with tons of sugar and empty calories. Remember that 32
oz cup of Coca-Cola I was talking about earlier? One large cup of
soda can contain up to 310 calories. If McDonald's advertised 310
calories of sugary liquid for $1 instead of soda, most people would
think twice before buying it. Yeah, the kids on TV may seem
extremely energetic and happy, but the truth is, soda is filled
with caffeine, so it gives you a quick burst of energy, and then
you crash (trust me, I'm speaking from experience). Their teeth
look as white and sparkly as pearls, so what your parents tell you
can't be true. WRONG. Soda is nothing more that liquid sugar with
bubbles. After my little sister got her first cavity, our dentist
suggested she reduce her soda intake. She did, and when we returned
for our next visit, he noticed that her teeth were looking a lot
better. If soda companies advertised cavities and an increase in
dental bills, soda wouldn't seem so cost-effective to most
I'm not against soda, and if I told you that I was, I'd be lying.
I'm not telling you to never buy a can of pop again, because I'll
probably buy another can of A & W Cream Soda this week. I'm
just saying, soda is okay once in a while and you should only have
it sparingly. Everyone is supposed to have 6-8 servings of liquid a
day. If one of those liquid servings is soda, and the rest are
water or tea, you'll notice that you'll feel a lot better. We are
given 2,000 to 2,500 calories a day…do you really want to waste 10%
of those daily calories on soda? It's cheap, but the consequences
of too much soda will cost you more than .69. Just cut back on the
Root Beer and Fanta, your teeth and your parents will thank