The Dangers of Soda: 10 Reasons Your Kids Shouldn’t Drink Soda

Many of us have opted for healthier choices for ourselves and our family. It certainly isn’t an easy process to break bad habits and relearn everything you’ve been taught about food. This is why it’s even more important to stop bad habits before they start, whenever possible. We gave you 10 reasons to dump diet soda, which can be the hardest hurdle for some. Well, kids can be particularly susceptible to the dangers of soda, so here are 10 reasons to never let your kid drink soda:

1. Soda is addictive

The addictive properties of soda come from a number of its ingredients – first, the caffeine. Caffeine is the the most commonly used mood-altering drug in the world, says a report from Johns Hopkins. The report goes on to say caffeine produces a physical dependence. Those experiencing this admit to altered moods and not being able to quit caffeine, despite wanting to. Children are not immune to this dependence, and some might even say they are more susceptible to caffeine’s effects due to their smaller body weight. These addictive properties are one of the greatest dangers of soda.

Studies on sugar have had similar findings. Sugar leads to a dependence complete with cravings and withdrawals. Choosing a diet soda without the sugar isn’t a better option though. Artificial sweeteners actually trick the brain into wanting more, leading to dependence. Drinking soda may be more than just a bad habit, but an actual dependence that is tough to quit.

2. Soda has no nutritional value

Although this may seem obvious, one of the dangers of soda is that it doesn’t provide much needed nutrition to our bodies. It does, however, provide empty calories, and can suppress the appetite. Consuming soda may cause children to eat less of the foods they need to fuel their bodies. Those who drink soda regularly are also more likely to get less than the recommended amount of vitamin A, calcium, and magnesium, an important mineral to overall health.

Dangers of soda

3. Soda is harming children’s brains

A child’s brain is developing throughout adolescence. When a kid drinks soda, they are consuming chemicals that are altering their brain. MSG can be hiding in the citric acid of soda, as well as in the artificial flavors. This excitotoxin has been shown to damage the neurons in the brain of mice. In addition, high levels of excitotoxins have been linked to brain tumors, diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, brain damage, learning disorders and behavioral problems.

Aspartame, found in diet soda, is causing the same effect. Long-term consumption of aspartame led to an imbalance in the brain. Aspartame’s methanol content is also concerning for brain health, as it converts to formaldehyde, a known neurotoxin.

4. Soda is weakening kids’ bones

One of the main dangers of soda is that drinking it regularly can actually deplete bones of much needed calcium. Phosphorus, a common ingredient in soda, leads to bone loss when in disproportionate levels to calcium. Caffeine is also a culprit here, as it is known to interfere with the absorption of calcium and bone density. Kids who drink soda are not likely to consume the necessary amount of milk or other calcium rich beverages.

Soda leads to behavior issues in children. Dangers of soda

5. Soda is causing bad behavior

There are many possible reasons for behavior issues from children who drink soda. It could be from the caffeine, sugar, artificial colors, or blood sugar spikes and drops. According to a survey of more than 3000 mothers, children who drank soda were more aggressive, withdrawn, and had trouble paying attention.

6. Soda is destroying kids’ teeth

Sugar isn’t good for teeth, and neither are the acids within soda. Both the citric acid and phosphorus can wear away tooth enamel and lead to decay. Combined with the addictive nature of soda, teeth can be frequently exposed to this harmful beverage and be at risk for tooth erosion.
Soda may lead to diabetes in children. Dangers of soda

7. Soda is contributing to childhood diabetes

Mice fed artificial sweeteners, like aspartame found in diet sodas,  developed glucose intolerance, which can be an early sign of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. What’s more frightening, is simply drinking soda in moderation may not reduce the risk. As little as one single 12 ounce can of soda a day can increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 22%.

8. Kids who like the sweetness of soda are more likely to be overweight

One two year study of 3-5 year olds determined that the consumption of sugary beverages significantly increased the likelihood of childhood obesity. In addition, children who developed a preference for fatty or sweet foods were more inclined to be overweight. Even choosing diet soda to avoid sugar won’t prevent this, because aspartame increases sugar cravings by telling the brain to consume more.

Drinking soda can lead to heart disease. Dangers of soda

9. Soda can lead to heart disease

When we are talking about children, heart disease rarely comes up in the conversation. However, with the news that just one soda a day can increase the risk of a cardiovascular event by 61%, it’s a conversation worth having. That same amount of soda is also linked to a 19% increase in heart disease. Considering the risk of a soda dependence, children who begin drinking soda are more likely to consume it regularly. Over the span of their lifetime they will consume far more soda than someone who began drinking it in adulthood, increasing the risks and dangers of soda for children.

10. Soda can inhibit digestion

Soda and caffeine are diuretics and can lead to dehydration, especially if soda is replacing water. Sugar and caffeine can increase the level of acids in the stomach leading to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Carbonation is also a common IBS trigger, as it results in more gas.

What are the alternatives to soda?

When it comes to kids, water and milk are simply the best options if you want to avoid the dangers of soda entirely. Fruit juices are certainly a better choice than soda, but be wary of sugar content. If your child is in need of something more than just these options, there are a number of healthier beverage alternatives.

Disclosure: Bookieboo LLC has an affiliate relationship with Thrive Market, a member based online shopping club that can save you 25%-50% off of retail on healthy foods and products. Some of the products below contain affiliate links or are from one of the numerous natural and organic brands that Bookieboo LLC has a client relationship with.

Mamavation readers can take advantage of a 25% discount by shopping through Thrive Market here.

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There are some excellent healthy drink options in this Ebook. Having your children help prepare a smoothie or fresh juice is also a great way to get them involved, and excited about trying something new.

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Juice Recipes for Kids


These kid friendly juices from My Fussy Eater are colorful and nutritious. They are a great way to ensure even the pickiest eater is getting in their fruits and vegetables.




Try a kombuca soda to get the flavor you're used to without the health riskskombuchatea

Try kombucha or a kombucha soda alternative. These fermented teas combine probiotics and antioxidants with delicious flavors. Live Kombucha Soda gives you the flavor of popular sodas, but with the benefit of kombucha. You can even get a kombucha tea starter to make it at home.

There are some concerns with giving kombucha to children, so make sure you assess the risks first. Look out for sugar content and don’t give kombucha to anyone with a compromised immune system.


Join thousands of other moms in discovering what is truly healthy.

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Elizabeth Bruno
Elizabeth Bruno is a working mom, Mamavation Bootcamp 18 graduate, and blogger at Pirate Prerogative. On her blog she writes about life, parenting observations, and her journey to a live a healthy life. She is a newly professed runner and has dropped nearly 70 pounds by changing her diet and incorporating regular exercise. Although she doesn’t like labels, she is often considered “crunchy” with her electric car, vegetarian diet, penchant for impromptu dancing, and commitment to being green.
Elizabeth Bruno
2017-01-29T13:27:58-05:00 July 5th, 2015|Featured, Food|35 Comments


  1. Rhys September 18, 2017 at 5:45 am - Reply

    Me and my brother have drank soda from a young age. He has a doctorate from Cambridge and I’m completing my a levels so I don’t think it does damage brains

  2. Jessica February 5, 2017 at 10:04 pm - Reply

    Thank you for providing alternative options for beverages!

    • Leah Segedie February 6, 2017 at 10:00 am - Reply

      No problem! Solutions is what we all need!

  3. tyler August 2, 2015 at 8:13 pm - Reply

    5. SODA IS CAUSING BAD BEHAVIOR? please! don’t shift a lack of parenting on a soda. i’ve been drinking diet coke for years!\, and i haven’t experienced any of this things. as for addiction goes…..then fine! i’d much be addicted to a soft drink then a drug! and i would be just find if my future kids become addicted to soda-and think any sane parent would feel the same way.

    • tyler August 2, 2015 at 9:28 pm - Reply


  4. MikeC July 30, 2015 at 10:11 am - Reply

    I’ve noticed that Coke has put out these 1.5L bottles. They look like 2L bottles, but a little smaller. Guess, what? Those 1.5L bottles are $.99 and the 2L bottles are now $1.49 or more! Just like everything else in the grocery store, the package gets smaller but the price stays the same.

    Good luck buying a 1lb package of bacon. What about about 1lb of coffee? Nope those are 12oz now. What about a 1/2 gallon of ice-cream. There’s only 1 manufacturer who does that. It’s now 1.5qts and it’s filled with AIR! AIR! Pretty soon, we’ll be seeing 10 eggs in a carton, and 3.75qts of milk. But the prices will be the same.

    The only time I can AFFORD to buy soda is when it’s on sale. If it comes out to more than $.20 a can, it’s too expensive. When I’m out, I’m out until another good sale. Sometimes, it’s months between. Soda is a treat in our house, not a daily drink. The kids get a small cup of milk with their meal, when it’s gone, they get water.

    So there’s reason number 11 to not give your kids soda, it’s costs too much!

  5. Rachel @ Slim Life July 21, 2015 at 8:50 pm - Reply

    Awww. I’m aware that soda is not really good for your health but didn’t really know that it has so much negative effect on your body. Great post! Thanks for the infos.

  6. Shimona from the Palace July 16, 2015 at 10:37 am - Reply

    You could always use Soda Stream. All that does is add carbon, so what you are getting is carbonated water which, if what your kids enjoy is the fizzyness, is just fine.

  7. Gayla July 15, 2015 at 3:21 pm - Reply

    This article is so full of holes, I wouldn’t even trust it to hold air.

    1) Diabetes is not caused by drinking too much soda and ‘Childhood Diabetes’ does not exist. Type ONE, which you allude to in your heading, is autoimmune and not caused by anything dietary. Type TWO, which generally is adult onset, is a metabolic disorder, ALSO not caused by diet. It has now been found that obesity is a SIDE EFFECT of Type 2 diabetes, not the cause. Type 2 is an insulin resistance.

    2) Most of your citations are inaccurate and from websites that pride themselves on scaring people into following ‘their’ way. And you don’t even cite them properly. For example, your heading about children being more prone to being overweight if they drink sodas. the study you link to cites AFRICAN AMERICAN children as the subjects. You might want to be transparent when you’re citing studies.

    3) You’re not a doctor, you’re not a scientist, and you’re not a nutritionist. You have no business giving health advice with no credentials to support your claims.

    • Dave July 15, 2015 at 7:58 pm - Reply

      My brother got type two diabetes from drinking soda. He no longer drinks it on a good path to recovery. Keep the sugars to a minimum especially HFCS from sodas.

    • John July 16, 2015 at 11:43 pm - Reply

      So from your response I guess you are okay with your children drinking soda.There may have been some inaccuracies but I believe the advice to not to give your children soda is good. I stopped drinking soda a couple of years ago when I abandoned processed foods. I also avoid grains, added sugars, HFC, trans fats etc and focus, when possible, on organic, local and seasonal produce, pastured meats, free range poultry and wild fish. I do treat myself to the odd glass of red wine, some dark chocolate and add things like Kefir, Greek Yogurt and Sauerkraut to support a healthy gut biome. Since making this change I dropped 40 lbs, blood pressure normalized from 130/90 to 107/75, blood sugar and blood lipids are outstanding and at 63 I feel as good as I did in my 30s. Interestingly my shoulder arthritis seemed to disappear as did my seasonal allergies and weirdly some warts that I had for years. I always try to remind myself that we are what we eat, that the body is always trying to find balance and striving for health but we keep getting in it’s way. Feed it right, get the right kind of exercise, fresh air and sunshine and most of your health issues will disappear.

    • Marcie B. July 18, 2015 at 8:12 am - Reply

      Gayla, Insulin resistance is caused by obesity which is generally caused by diet. Type II, which used to be known as adult onset, can now be found in children and adolescents, particularly if they are obese. Hence the name change.

      Dave, Your brother probably got Type II as a result of being overweight or obese. Cutting down on sodas and sugar is a good step in the right direction. Please encourage him to continue on his path to good health.

      To critics, Elizabeth Bruno posted her bio at the end of her blog for all to see, which shows that she is being transparent. She doesn’t claim to be a doctor, scientist, nutritionist, or even a journalist. She is a blogger and a mom who is concerned about everyday health, especially in children. Let’s try to give her a little support and encouragement for her public courage and compassion to help others.

      Thanks, Elizabeth. I thought it was a great topic, which is why I read your post in the first place. In spite of a few small glitches it was a great article! 🙂

    • alfie August 2, 2015 at 4:04 pm - Reply

      Gayla, what is the matter with you ? Do you have an agenda ?
      Doctors and Scientists are wrong all the time and they will continue to be wrong forever.
      These foods that ruin our health are there by design, like the mercury, aluminum and formaldehyde vaccines
      children are polluted with.
      Elizabeth is being critiqued by know-it-alls for her spelling, misuse of apostrophes and then finally for her lack of knowledge regarding the 2 types of Diabetes.
      And Katti, it has been proven decades ago that sodas, can cause well-behaved children to become very irritable and some , in extreme cases, to commit serious crimes.

  8. Toni July 11, 2015 at 11:13 pm - Reply

    With all due respect, might I kindly suggest you hire a copy editor? You have several misspelled words in your article (dependence, for one) and that may tend to reduce your credibility as to content. All the best.

  9. Christine P July 10, 2015 at 2:58 pm - Reply

    Juvenile Diabetes, also called Type 1 Diabetes is an auto immune disorder where the body attacks the pancreas and shuts it down. Since the pancreas no longer produces insulin, it must be injected every time you eat. The cause is not at all related to lifestyle or sugar consumption. Unfortunately, children who suffer from Type 1, which is chronic and sometimes deadly, are often subjected to shaming from uninformed adults and peers who associate the word “Diabetes” with “too much sugar”. Please correct your heading, and consider adding a footnote, so it doesn’t contribute to this problem.

  10. Katti July 10, 2015 at 11:49 am - Reply

    It causes bad behavior? No bad parents and no discipline causes bad behavior. Why does everyone else blame other things or other people for their children’s behavior it’s nobodies fault but the parents.

    • tyler August 2, 2015 at 8:28 pm - Reply

      one word: scapegoat.

  11. Claire July 10, 2015 at 9:23 am - Reply

    So does this apply for teenagers too? And how much harm could drinking one 16oz bottle every… Month do? I really like soda but I dont want to die from it

  12. elsa July 10, 2015 at 8:17 am - Reply

    the biggest “mistake” made in this article is saying milk is the “best” option for kids. wrong.

    • Heather July 10, 2015 at 3:59 pm - Reply

      I was thinking the same thing!! Going with an uncaffeinated soda with natural cane sugar is a better option than hormone filled and cancerous animal proteins. Better yet, stick with water and juice not from concentrate.

  13. Sunshine67 July 10, 2015 at 8:02 am - Reply

    Nanci, that would be FEWER mistakes, not LESS.

  14. Sunshine67 July 10, 2015 at 8:01 am - Reply

    Spelling counts as it goes to credibility. The word is “dependence “, NOT “dependance.” And unless you’re British, it’s “brain tumor”, not “tumour.”

    • Jerry August 2, 2015 at 11:06 am - Reply

      What does spelling has to do with credibility? Nothing! I think it’s just a way for some to denigrate others and take focus away from the content of the article. While it is important for professional publications that are often reviewed by language experts to be free of grammatical errors, I don’t expect every organizations – many with limited resources – to publish error free articles, in the instant consumption era of internet.

  15. Tyler July 9, 2015 at 11:27 am - Reply

    I don’t care

    • Claire July 10, 2015 at 9:25 am - Reply

      If you don’t care why did you take time to post that comment?

  16. Ellen Stebbins July 8, 2015 at 9:37 am - Reply

    Great article! Another good option is coconut water. It alkalizes the body and has electrolytes!

    • Denise July 11, 2015 at 7:39 am - Reply

      There is evidence that sugar consumption, which at its corn-syrupy heart is grain consumption, leads to inflammatory and autoimmune disrases. Therefore it is inaccurate to say that .” There is no evidence that sugar leads to automune disease”. I don’t understand the level of vitriol directed at this blogger mom who is trying to help people. She did not submit a research paper to you. You are content consumers, not professors tasked with dissecting her work for punctuation, citations and APA format. You sound like shrill, pretentious ingrates with no manners.

      • alfie August 2, 2015 at 3:43 pm - Reply

        Very well put, Denise.

  17. Dee July 8, 2015 at 4:28 am - Reply

    The information posted for #7 is inaccurate. Childhood diabetes is not a term. I believe you are meaning to say Type One Diabetes. However, your description points to the metabolic disorder – type 2 diabetes – not the autoimmune – type one diabetes. There is a huge difference. Soda and other sugary beverages have nothing to do with type one diabetes. Please do not contribute to the misinformation and very false stereotypes of this chronic condition. If you need any further information on type one diabetes I highly recommend visiting JDRF’s website and viewing their FAQ page. Thank you.

  18. Suzy Cervin July 7, 2015 at 11:04 am - Reply

    For #7, the information that is given is correct, but the title is not. “Childhood diabetes” is not really a term nor is it a name of a condition. There is something sometimes called Juvenile Diabetes, but Juvenile Diabetes specifically only refers to Type 1 Diabetes only. It is also no longer an official name. Juvenile Diabetes is now more commonly called Type 1.

    In the information given for #7 you correctly state over-consumption of soda can contribute to Type 2 Diabetes. I wonder why you just did not use Type 2 Diabetes in the heading instead of the confusing, incorrect, and possibly misleading term “Childhood Diabetes”. There is no such thing as Childhood Diabetes and it oculd cause confusion with Juvenile Diabetes (Type 1), which has nothing at all do do with over-consumption of sugar and is not caused by obesity.

    I do not disagree with your message at all, I just think the terminology could be updated. Thank you.

  19. M E July 6, 2015 at 11:25 am - Reply

    Please learn correct usage of apostrophes (plurals no, possessives yes), as it detracts from a good article.

    • Sarah July 6, 2015 at 11:00 pm - Reply

      Don’t concern yourself with grammar mistakes, just be grateful for the information you received! There’s a lot more things to pick at in life than correcting others, especially when what they are trying to do is help people.

    • Nanci July 7, 2015 at 9:58 am - Reply

      Less mistakes in this article than in many yahoo news articles…and they are a “news agency!”

      • Sherry July 10, 2015 at 3:40 am - Reply

        The apostrophes are used correctly. Ask any proofreader. Kids’ bones and kids’ teeth are both possessive. It does not matter that the first word is plural, such as children’s brains, but when the plural word ends in s, the apostrophe must come after the s.

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