A dietician, Motunrayo Oduneye, says excessive consumption of soft drinks increases the risk of osteoporosis in children.
Ms Oduneye, an assistant chief dietitian at the University College Hospital, Ibadan, stated this on Thursday
Osteoporosis is a systemic skeletal disorder characterised by low bone mass, micro-architectural deterioration of bone tissue, leading to bone fragility, and consequent increase in fracture risks.
According to Ms Oduneye, drinking carbonated beverages also known as soft drinks hinderes the absorption of calcium into the body, which consequently lowers bone density and leads to osteoporosis.
“Unfortunately many children are victims of sugary drinks every day because that is what their mothers gave them. Taking plenty sugary drinks hindered the absorption of calcium into the body. Soft drinks consumption increases the risk of fracture,” she said.
Ms Oduneye advised parents to train their children to consume milk as a drink and as a substitute for soft drinks.
“Taking sugary drinks instead of milk, which contains calcium, results in low calcium in their body and therefore increased the risk of osteoporosis, that is weak bones, which explained why some children easily fractured. Unfortunately, in this part of the country parents are not used to giving them milk as a drink,” she explained. “It is good to train children to take milk as a drink, milk can be gotten from yogurts, plain or unsweetened yogurts.”
Ms Oduneye also noted that excessive consumption of carbonated drinks was associated with childhood obesity.
“Excessive consumption of soft drinks increased the risk of childhood obesity. Soft drinks have significant association with the risk of obesity, especially in children,” stressed the dietician. “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.”