Soft Drinks Can Cause Osteoporosis, Obesity in Children – Dietician



Soft Drinks Can Cause Osteoporosis, Obesity in Children – Dietician

An Assistant Chief Dietitian, University College Hospital, Motunrayo Oduneye, says excessive consumption of soft drinks can increase the risk of osteoporosis and obesity in children.

Oduneye warned that carbonated beverages (soft drinks) can hinder the absorption of calcium into the body and consequently, lower bone density, leading to osteoporosis.

“Osteoporosis has been defined as a systemic skeletal disorder characterized by low bone mass, micro-architectural deterioration of bone tissue, leading to bone fragility, and consequent increase in fracture risks.

“Unfortunately many children are victims of sugary drinks every day because that is what their mothers give them. Taking plenty of sugary drinks hinders the absorption of calcium into the body. Soft drinks consumption increases the risk of fracture”, she said.

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According to Better Health Channel, an online health portal, osteoporosis is a health condition that weakens bones, making them fragile and more likely to break.

It noted that it develops slowly over several years and is often only diagnosed when a fall or sudden impact causes a bone to break (fracture).

The health portal explained that Osteoporosis in children is a rare condition that is usually caused by an underlying medical condition.

“Treatment depends on the cause, but may include dietary changes, a supervised exercise programme and treatment for any underlying medical condition,” it stated.

The dietician, Oduneye said aside from weakening bone density, excessive consumption of carbonated drinks had been associated with childhood obesity.

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She said, “Excessive consumption of soft drinks increases the risk of childhood obesity. Soft drinks have significant association with the risk of obesity, especially in children.

“Studies showed that children, who consumed more than one sugar drink per day, are 50 to 60 per cent more likely to be overweight or obese than children who don’t.

“Having more than one carbonated drink per day predisposes a child to obesity or excessive weight gain.”

The dietician noted that reducing soft drinks consumption, especially among children, should be considered as an important strategy to reduce the rate of osteoporosis and childhood obesity in Nigeria.

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Oduneye, advised mothers to train their children to consume more milk as a substitute for soft drinks.

“Taking sugary drinks instead of milk, which contains calcium, results in low calcium in their body. This increases the risk of osteoporosis which weakens bones. This explains why some children easily get fractures.

“Unfortunately, in this part of the country parents are not used to giving their children milk as a drink. It is good to train children to take milk. Milk can be gotten from plain or unsweetened yogurts,” she advised.




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