We live in a society plagued by a plethora of problems; our eating habits, impure food, pollution; mental stress caused mostly by limited income resources has given rise to poor health conditions. Hospitals with limited resources are always flooded with patients; the main cause of various diseases is unhygienic food and lack of nutritive diet in general masses. It is a pity that our children are exposed to dangerous soft drinks while the consumption of these drinks is promoted in broad daylight.

We, the civil society members, must spread awareness, especially as our children are the main target of these fizzy drinks. As a practitioner and advocate of a healthy lifestyle, I recognise that consuming even as little as one or two sodas per day is undeniably connected to numerous health complications. The most common problems are obesity, diabetes and other blood sugar disorders, tooth decay, osteoporosis and bone fractures, nutritional deficiencies, heart disease, food addictions and eating disorders etc.

Soft drinks are a thriving industry and they invest in millions of rupees in advertising, using well known sportsperson as well as actors to promote their product. These advertisements affect our children and it has no warning added to it; what is not well-known is that it is as dangerous as smoking! There should be a warning shown to let people know how much they can consume. My neighbor has a son who takes one liter Pepsi everyday! Not knowing how harmful this addiction is, as it is an addiction.

Warnings about the dangers of soft drink consumption came to us as early as 1942 when the American Medical Association's (AMA) Council on Food and Nutrition published its report. In a nutshell, excessive intake of cold drinks may prove fatal for health. Health department must mention maximum quantity of its intake for a normal person and kids on the bottle and the same must be read in cold drink's advertisements.

IFTIKHAR MIRZA,

Islamabad, August 28.