fizzy drinks, colourings,
additives and peer pressure
TG has never felt accepted by his peers. In Fizzy Bottom he meets Billy and his Burp Gang. They use a mixture of fear and flattery to encourage TG to drink loads of fizzy drinks. All with mystical, exciting names and wonderful colours and bubbles.
Billy tells TG that if he can beat him in a burping contest he can be part of the gang. Needless to say it doesn't end well.
The aim of the chapter is to provide a starting point for discussion on how to recognise peer pressure. And in addition an opportunity to educate children about fizzy drinks and their contents.
Fizzy drinks are fun and taste good!
Children particularly seem to like them - so much so that many of them will drink nothing else. This is a a problem. Many carbonated drinks contain various things that are not good for us if taken too often.
The first is phosphorus. It is added to these drinks to make them less acidic. In the right quantities phosphorus helps to bind calcium to our bones making them stronger. However if we take in too much it can affect the body’s ability to use calcium and inhibit the absorption of magnesium. This is not good news for your bones.
A can of cola can have as much as 9 cubes of sugar – more than the recommended daily limit for adults and many times more than for children.
At one time it was only the sugar in carbonated drinks that was considered bad because it caused tooth decay and led to weight problems. Now we can get diet versions of these drinks containing artificial sweeteners. These can also be a problem if taken too often. Some people actually crave more sweet things when they have eaten or drunk something with artificial sweeteners in them.
Many of these drinks also contain a mixture of additives and some children’s behaviour is affected badly by them. In the light of all this some schools have stopped allowing children to drink them in school.
Some of the additives in carbonated drinks make you lose more water from your body, often almost as much as in the drink itself. So once again it is a case of understanding what these things are doing to your body and making a conscious effort to keep balance and variety in your life.
For more information on other drinks and their effects on you body
About 60% of your body is made up from water. It is vital for life, all the chemical reactions in your body take place in solution. We need it for digestion and elimination of waste, to lubricate eyes and joints and to regulate our temperature.
Drinks and food provide water, we need around 3 litres of fluid a day, more on a hot day. Drinking plenty of water ensures that calcium is diluted and excreted in the urine, which prevents the formation of kidney stones. Water flushes out bladder and kidney infections.