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The Best Mountain Dew Can Do Is Be the Unhealthy Part of an Otherwise Healthy, Balanced Diet.

Posted Feb 19 2009 4:27pm

by Marlene Schwartz

I have written about this issue before, but it astonishes me how reliably the soft drink industry, such as Pepsi most recently, relies on the argument that their products "consumed in moderation, can be part of a healthy, balanced diet."

This is a ridiculously illogical argument. A “healthy, balanced diet” is defined as a diet that is “low” in things like sugar and saturated fat. Their products provide nothing but sugar. By definition, Mountain Dew is the unhealthy part of an otherwise healthy diet.

Let me draw an analogy. We live in a very old house that has layers of lead paint buried under more layers of newer paint and wallpaper. When my children were little, I worried a lot about lead paint and had them tested regularly. The way the tests work, they tell you the amount of lead detected and put it in the context of what is considered a dangerous level of lead in the blood stream.

I don’t recall the numbers, but for the sake of discussion, let’s say that the dangerous level was a “10” and my children tested at a “0.5.” Now, the doctor would assure me that this was a very low level and was not likely to create any problems for my children. But, does that mean that 0.5 of lead is part of a “healthy, balanced” bloodstream in my children? Of course not! That lead is working against my children’s health, and if it wasn’t there, my children would be more healthy, not less.

Soda is the same thing. Every can of soda a child drinks is a step toward the “unhealthy” side of the continuum. In no way does soda move the child toward the “healthy” side – or even act as a neutral force.

Mountain Dew is not part of a healthy, balanced diet. If consumed in extremely small amounts, it is like the trace lead in my child’s bloodstream. It may not have a huge negative effect, but we would all be better off without it.

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