A dietician, Motunrayo Oduneye, says excessive consumption of soft drinks increased the risk of osteoporosis in children.
Oduneye, an Assistant Chief Dietitian, University College Hospital, Ibadan, made the assertion on Thursday in Ibadan while speaking with newsmen.
It was reported that osteoporosis has been defined as a systemic skeletal disorder characterized by low bone mass, micro-architectural deterioration of bone tissue, leading to bone fragility, andconsequent increase in fracture risks.
Oduneye said that dinking carbonated beverages also known as soft drinks hindered the absorption of calcium into the body, which consequently lowered bone density and led to osteoporosis.
“Unfortunately many children are victims of sugary drinks every day because that is what their mothers gave them.
“Taking plenty of sugary drinks hindered the absorption of calcium into the body.
“Soft drinks consumption increases the risk of fracture”, she said.
Oduneye advised mothers to train their children to consume milk as a drink and as a substitute for soft drinks.
“Taking sugary drinks instead of milk, which contains calcium, results in low calcium in their body and therefore increased the risk of osteoporosis, that is weak bones, which explained why some children easily fractured.
“Unfortunately, in this part of the country parents are not used to giving them milk as a drink.
“It is good to train children to take milk as a drink, milk can be gotten from yogurts, plain or unsweetened yogurts,” she said.
Oduneye also said that excessive consumption of carbonated drinks was associated with childhood obesity.
“Excessive consumption of soft drinks increased the risk of childhood obesity.
“Soft drinks have a significant association with the risk of obesity, especially in children.
“Studies showed that children who consumed more than one sugary drink per day, are 50 to 60 per cent more likely to be overweight or obese than children who don’t.
“Having more than one carbonated drink per day predisposes a child to obesity or excessive weight gain,” she said.
She added that reducing soft drinks consumption, especially among children, should be considered as an important strategy to reduce the rate of osteoporosis and childhood obesity in Nigeria.