sodaRemember the good old days, when you could enjoy a nice, cold, refreshing cola -- diet or loaded with sugar, as you preferred -- without shame? Where, oh where, have those blissful days gone?

Seriously, when did drinking soda become such a serious health taboo?

It seems like studies exploring all the ways in which soft drinks will kill us -- slow deaths, quick deaths -- are coming with increasing frequency.

The latest? Brace yourself ...

Researchers at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center have found that drinking two or more sugary drinks a day dramatically raises women's risk for diabetes and high cholesterol. And while women who regularly quaff sugary beverages, like soda, are also much more likely to become obese, even skinny female soda drinkers had a higher risk for heart disease and diabetes.

Of course, if you've been paying attention to the research, you know that switching to diet soda isn't going to solve your problems: Even the non-sugary stuff has been linked to an increased risk for stroke and heart disease.

It's funny, isn't it, how at some point it just became a total taboo to drink soda, whether diet or sugared? It's hard to imagine that we'll go back to those halcyon days when we could up-size those fountain drinks or grab a frosty can of pop without someone giving us the hairy eyeball.

It's gotten so that, just this past weekend, when I bought probably the first diet soda I've had in about the last six months and drank it while watching my son's soccer game, I found myself wondering about how the other moms on the sidelines might be judging me. Growing increasingly hot with shame, after only a few sips, I replaced the cap on the bottle and shoved the embarrassing beverage down into the bottom of my tote bag.

I guess now that our soda innocence is lost -- now that we know just how bad all those ingredients and additives can be for our health -- we probably won't ever get it back.

Glass of water, anyone?

Are you drinking less soda these days than you used to?

 

Image via KB35/Flickr