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Soft drinks are bad for the bones

The following article, taken from The Age, a Melbourne newspaper, and reprinted in The West Australian newspaper on Saturday, June 17 2000.

Study Takes the Fizz out of Soft Drinks

"American medical researchers have come up with new evidence that soft drinks are bad for the bones.

"A survey of 460 schoolgirls in Years 9 and 10 found that girls who consumed fizzy drinks had three times the risk of bone fracture than those who did not. The research also found that girls who reported high levels of physical activity and drank cola had nearly five times the risk of bone fracture than those who did not drink carbonated beverages at all.

"Researchers from Harvard Medical School in Boston asked the girls about their physical activity, beverage consumption and bone fractures. Nearly 80 per cent reported drinking carbonated drinks and more than half drank cola. Twenty per cent had suffered a bone fracture. Neville Golden, of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, said the survey results - published in the issue of the Journal of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine - were alarming. Dr Golden said further research was needed because adolescence was a critical time in bone development. "Osteoporosis should no longer be considered only a geriatric disease but rather a pediatric disease with geriatric implications", he said.

"Research author Grace Wyshak said that phosphorus in soft drinks might have a negative effect on young bones due to a change in the phosphorus/calcium ratio. Girls develop bone mass density until they are 16. During this time they require between 1.2 and 1.5g of calcium daily. A 250ml glass of Rev. milk has 375mg of calcium. Soft drink has none.

Australasian Soft Drink Association chief executive Tony Gentile said: "There is no hard evidence that if you consume foods high in phosphorus you're going to have problems with calcium."
by Misha Ketchell

In her book, The Hidden Drug - Dietary Phosphate Hafer states that calcium and phosphorus must be balanced in a 1:1 ratio. If the diet is disproportionately high in phosphorus (mostly in the form of phosphate), the body will take calcium from the bones in an attempt to restore the calcium/phosphorus balance - even if the bones are already deficient in calcium.

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