Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

While I was on my way to school this morning I heard a new study being discussed on the radio about soda and it’s additional harmful effects to our bodies.  I looked up the article for myself and thanked the heavens above that I do not have a soda drinking problem, but a lot of people I am close to do.  It is extremely important to stop drinking soda or slowly ween yourself off, now.

I completely understand having a certain vice that is terribly hard to get rid of – mine is having a horrible sweet tooth that only chocolate can fix.  Moreover, many people have a severe soda drinking problem.  I have heard a couple of my friends say that if they do not get their coke first thing in the morning, they will have a headache.  That is not good!

In a recent study, scientists from the University of California-San Francisco (UCSF) found that people who drink soda tend to have shorter telomeres or lack of protective DNA which aid in premature aging.  Basically, drinking soda has similar effects when it comes to our appearance and aging like smoking cigarettes does.  Shorter telomeres are associated with tissue damage, inflammation and insulin resistance, as well as chronic diseases such as diabetes and coronary heart disease.  All of these health complications are linked to aging. You could be a healthy person 90% of the time and drinking a couple sodas a day is all you do.  Well, I am not going to tell you what you should and shouldn’t do.  If you feel healthy and beautiful, then drink and appreciate your soda, but limit yourself to maybe one per day… or one every couple days.  Everything in moderation, right?

It is simple, small changes we can all try to make to live a healthier life.  We are human- we aren’t perfect.  Believe me, I have moments of losing all self control and indulging into things that are not good for me in any way, shape, or form.  I’ll be completely honest and say that my bad, unhealthy vice is smoking a cigarette when I am enjoying a couple cocktails.  It is disgusting and I regret it every time, but I have been making conscious efforts to really control it and tell myself that it’s not cool and just plain gross.  Furthermore, I always notice when I am being “bad” and making unhealthy living decisions and try my best to change it or do better the next day.  That’s all I can do and expect of myself, and so far, it’s working for me.

So, I challenge you to atleast try and ween yourself from some of your bad habits or vices.  Whether it’s drinking soda or too much caffeine in general, eating too many sweets, smoking cigarettes, etc., just try your hardest to slow down and make some healthier alternatives.  Negotiate deals with yourself to achieve your goals.  It isn’t as hard as we think and we are definitely mentally stronger than we think we are.  Plus, premature aging is never cool- can we all agree?  Alright, getting off of my soap box now.

image from Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

 

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