Why Is Soda Bad for You? 7 Reasons to Stop Drinking Soda

What does soda do to your body? The answer may surprise you. If weight loss hasn’t motivated you to ditch sodas, these 7 major health problems should!

is soda bad for you reasons to stop drinking soda

What does soda do to your body? If you drank two cans of soda per day, you would gain approximately one pound every two weeks, or about 26 pounds total in one year.

© Nutthaseth Vanchaichana | iStock / GettyImages

While the debate rages on about whether or not sodas should be banned in schools and major cities, one thing is for certain: Each individual can make a personal choice to limit or quit drinking sodas altogether. What about you? Are you ready to kick the colas and discover how to quit drinking soda for good? If you do drink soda, what does soda do to your body?

Let us give you some incentive: Did you know that if you drank two cans of soda per day, you would gain approximately one pound every two weeks or about 26 pounds total in a year?[1] If this doesn’t motivate you to surrender your soda habit, we have an additional seven reasons to quit—and some of them may surprise you.

So, what does soda do to your body? It’s linked to at least seven serious diseases, including heart disease. See our list below.

1. Liver Disease

Drinking soda causes fat build up around the organs by as much as 25 percent and almost doubles the amount of fat around the liver. This type of fat, called ectopic fat, is thought to be more dangerous to metabolic health than subcutaneous fat, the kind that collects under the skin. Ectopic fat induces dysfunction of the organs involved. And, when the liver is surrounded by fat, the risk of liver disease skyrockets.[2]

2. Heart Disease

Drinking soda raises LDL “bad” cholesterol levels, triglyceride levels, and blood pressure. Furthermore, the increased consumption of sugar in sodas increases body weight, which in turn causes the liver to produce even more cholesterol. Even as little as one soda per day increases the risk of developing metabolic syndrome by as much as 50 percent—and that includes diet sodas, too![3]

Metabolic syndrome is a condition that includes three of five criteria: large waistline, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high triglycerides, or low HDL “good” cholesterol levels.


Now that you know how soda drinks negatively impact your health, learn how to quit drinking soda for good. Click here to read our post “How to Quit Drinking Soda—and 6 Ways to Do It.”

3. Stroke

One study found that drinking one serving of soda was associated with a 10 percent increase in stroke risk.[4]

4. Diabetes

Researchers have found new evidence that soft drinks sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) may contribute to the development of diabetes, particularly in children.[5]

5. Kidney Stones and Kidney Disease

Sodas contain high levels of phosphoric acid and high fructose corn syrup, which have been linked to kidney stones and kidney disease.[6]

6. Pancreatic Cancer

Drinking as little as two soft drinks per week nearly doubles to risk of getting pancreatic cancer.[7]. As noted in our post “Pancreatic Cancer Causes: What You Can Do to Reduce Your Risk“: “In the vast majority of people it touches—rich or poor, famous or anonymous—pancreatic cancer causes death. In fact, while mortality rates for many other cancers are declining, deaths from pancreatic cancer are on the rise.”

7. Osteoporosis and Increased Risk of Fracture

Drinking sodas has an adverse effect on bone mineral density—especially in women—due to the phosphoric acid content.[8]

What About Diet Soda?

Despite its deceiving label as a “diet” beverage, diet soda is not a healthy alternative to regular soda. In fact, a growing body of research shows drinks with artificial sweeteners—like diet sodas—are associated with increased weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease. Learn more about the diet soda dangers here and here.


[1] Based on formula of 3,500 calories equals 1 pound
[2] Am J Clin Nutr February 2012 vol. 95 no. 2 283-289.
[3] “1 Daily Soda May Boost Heart Disease” WebMD, July 23, 2007.
[4] Am J Clin Nutr May 2012 ajcn.030205.
[5] American Chemical Society Press Release, August 23, 2007.
[6] PLoS One. 2008;3(10):e3431.
[7] Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, Feb. 2010; vol 19: pp 447-455.
[8] Am J Clin Nutr October 2006 vol. 84 no. 4 936-942.

Originally published in 2013, this post is regularly updated.

As a service to our readers, University Health News offers a vast archive of free digital content. Please note the date published or last update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Jami Cooley, RN, CNWC

Jami Cooley is a Certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant as well as a Registered Nurse, but her interest in integrative medicine grew out of her experience in conventional medicine. Cooley … Read More

View all posts by Jami Cooley, RN, CNWC

Enter Your Login Credentials
This setting should only be used on your home or work computer.