There have been 2 recent concerns related to sodas – neither is a new concern! – one is brominated vegetable oil added to citrus soda drinks, and the other is sugar free sweeteners added to diet sodas as well as other sugar-free drinks.
Although controversial, The World Health Organization recently classified the sweetener aspartame as a possible carcinogen. Aspartame is the most common sweetener in diet sodas. Despite the controversy, there have been ongoing questions regarding diet soda health concerns.
Drinking diet soda:
- has been associated with weight gain due to higher caloric intake
- may cause insulin confusion impacting risks of diabetes
- causes higher activity in the area of the brain associated with the desire to consume higher fat and sugary foods
- seems to alter your brain’s sweet-sensing reward center. This means diet soda could potentially change how your brain reacts to cravings for high-calorie
And now, The US Food and Drug Administration announced a proposal to revoke the nationwide regulation authorizing the use of brominated vegetable oil, or BVO, in food.
BVO is currently allowed to be used in small amounts in the production of citrus-flavored drinks, specifically to keep the citrus flavoring from separating and floating to the top of these beverages. Safety concerns have been raised for decades, but after review of new evidence based on animal studies, BVO is no longer considered safe for consumption.
What are options to ensure your wellness program includes the company policies and environment?
- Meet with employees to discuss healthy beverages and selection options.
- Talk to your vending machine vendor about healthier selections.
- Assess beverages served at company functions and meetings.
- Take stock of free beverages offered to employees and switch to water and naturally flavored sparkling waters.
- Install a water filter (such as reverse osmosis) and provide refillable water containers.
What other ideas do you and your employees have?