Say No to Soda Pop

As a child, I can recall how my brothers and I were always amazed by the bubbles that mysteriously appeared and then ascended to the top of the bottle or can of soda pop. Things got even more exciting after we figured out that we could increase this phenomenon by vigorously shaking the container up and down. We would reach the coup de gras after disrupting the aqueous solution for as long as possible, and then opening the container only to witness the eruption of this volcano-like drinking delight. The moving bubbles would now be accompanied by a fizzing sound and then they would become projectile and at times causing damage to the surfaces it came in contact with. We assumed that the bubbles continued to rise and thus we would take turns imagining where the gases went once they escaped.

Since then, I have learned a lot about this mystifying drink that many of us crave multiple times each day. Now, as a Michigander, CEO of DMC Sinai-Grace hospital and a physician, it is my responsibility to educate the community on what I have learned, ways to prevent diseases and on how to promote Health For Life. There is overwhelming evidence that soda pop does significant harm to us, yet I am not sure that the soda pop drinkers understand the extent. It is ­– at minimum – responsible for weight-control issues and diseases such as obesity, diabetes and cancer.

It is certainly not a novel concept that the fundamental issue leading to many of the diseases that shorten the lives of Americans is weight-control and obesity. Both regular and diet soda drinks are directly related to both of these diseases. Soda pop is the No. 1 source of added sugar and extra calories in the American diet. For example, one 20-ounce single bottle or can has 17 teaspoons of sugar. Adults who drink one or more sodas or other sugar-sweetened beverages each day are 27% more likely to be overweight or obese. In the U.S., High Fructose Corn Syrup is the major sweetener that has primarily replaced sucrose (table sugar) in the soda pop industry, which makes sugar addiction an even more serious problem. Two-thirds of all HFCS produced goes into these soft drinks. Uninformed diet pop drinkers might be surprised to learn that the artificial sweeteners actually increase cravings and lead to weight gain as opposed to their intended weight loss. Furthermore, one artificial sweetener, when consumed, is converted into formaldehyde which is a known carcinogen (a cancer-causing chemical).

Hidden Dangers of Soda Pop:

  • Soda pop contains phosphoric acid, which weakens bones and rots teeth.
  • The aluminum cans contain an epoxy resin called bisphenol A (BPA), which is added to keep the acids in the soda from reacting with the metal. BPA has been linked to infertility, obesity, diabetes and some reproductive cancers.
  • The dyes in the soda have been linked to impaired brain function, hyperactive behavior, difficulty focusing and lack of impulse control.
  • Potassium Benzoate is a preservative that can be broken down to benzene in your body. When exposed to the sun, for example, your soda becomes a carcinogen.

With the end-of-the-year holiday season approaching, it is important to remind ourselves that Americans pack on the extra pounds during the last two months of the year. One guaranteed way to decrease the likelihood of this from happening is to attack the major contributor to the immediate and long-term issues like weight-control and obesity: Soda Pop.

Join me and your DMC Sinai-Grace family in declaring November as our official Say No to Soda Pop Month. To officially pledge your support and sign up to participate in our endeavor, visit the website,

Dr. Reginald Eadie
Sinai-Grace Hospital

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Please note that the views expressed by Dr. Eadie through are that of the individual only and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Detroit Medical Center.

Turning back the hands of time…

“I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.” She coined the phrase.

Born October 6, 1917 in the rural state of Mississippi, she began working at the tender age of 6. With only a sixth-grade education, she led the charge in voter’s registration and taught others what they needed to know to pass the then-required literacy test. She founded the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party because she was, at that time, unable to join the Mississippi Democratic Party. She pushed until President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the voting rights act. Her 1970 lawsuit demanded school desegregation. From 1968 – 1971, she was a member of the Democratic National Committee for Mississippi and eventually was elected a delegate to the Democratic National Committee of 1972. With all that, nowhere in history was she recorded complaining about being sick and tired of current voting rights. I never read where she said she was sick and tired of the Democratic National Committee or that she was sick and tired of the segregation in the school system.

Despite the multiple death threats she received, she never once complained that she was sick and tired of the threats. On the tenth day of September in 1962, when sixteen bullets were fired in the home where she was staying, never once did she complain that she was sick and tired of the assassination attempts. On June 3, 1963 when she was jailed for standing up for righteousness and then beaten with a pipe, she never complained about being sick and tired of being beaten. Instead, she focused on bringing a Head Start program to her local community.

Nevertheless, the day came when she finally began to complain. It started when her doctor told her she had sugar. Sugar diabetes that is! This diabetes led to other problems such as peripheral vascular disease, diminishing eye sight, bad kidneys, neuropathy and heart disease. Her gender, race, diabetes and body size served as risk factors for her subsequent diagnosis of breast cancer.

It was at that time Ms. Fannie Lou Hamer had something to really complain about. It was then that she coined her signature line: I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.

Ms. Hamer died at the young age of 60, both sick and tired. Like Fannie Lou Hamer, Dr. Eadie is sick and tired of seeing the city of Detroit and the State of Michigan sick and tired.

I’m sick and tired of the fact that (according to the Michigan Department of Human Services):

  • In 1995, 18% of the adult population was obese. By 2010, the obesity prevalence in our population had increased to 32%. If the tide is not changed, the percent of obesity in our population will reach 50% by 2030.
  • Currently in Michigan, 2.5 million adults and 400,000 children are obese; many of whom already show signs of chronic illnesses.
  • More than 75% of healthcare spending (in Michigan and the U.S.) is for people with chronic diseases including heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, kidney diseases, and dementia.
  • Two-thirds of premature deaths in the U.S. are due to poor nutrition, lack of physical activity and tobacco use.
  • 13% of Michigan adults are uninsured, yet people won’t consider some type of healthcare reform as a viable option.
  • The rate of infant mortality is 7.7 in Michigan and 6.7 nationally.

Now clearly I didn’t know Fannie Lou and obviously never had a chance to speak with her about preventive measures. But, if I could turn back the hands of time and speak to her I would say:

  1. Eat multiple small meals. Get rid of the 3 square meals theory and graze throughout the day. This shrinks your stomach, you get full faster and it increases your metabolism.
  2. Eat your 5 -9 servings of fruit and vegetables everyday. Why? Remember that diabetes, heart disease and breast cancer all have one thing in common; they were all caused by free radicals. Well, antioxidants found in fruit and veggies destroy the disease-causing chemicals.
  3. Drink water. Clear water. Noncarbonated water. Alkaline water.
  4. Stop eating red meats.
  5. Learn your BMI. If it’s not between 18.5 and 25, then get it there as soon as possible.
  6. Join DMC Sinai-Grace in declaring November as NO SODA POP MONTH –
    1. Phosphoric acid weakens bones and rots teeth.
    2. Diet soda pop has artificial sweeteners that increase sugar cravings.
    3. Artificial colorings are carcinogens (cancer-causing agents).
    4. High fructose corn syrup is our #1 source of calories so eliminating it will help us get to our desired BMI.

So let’s enjoy this life and work to make sure that we do our part to not leave a signature line defining ourselves as being sick and tired of being sick and tired!

Your thoughts?

Reginald Eadie, MD
Sinai-Grace Hospital

“Like” us on Facebook at or follow us on Twitter at
Please note that the views expressed by Dr. Eadie through are that of the individual only and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Detroit Medical Center.