How safe are Cola soft drinks?

English: Glass of cola

I’ve come across a couple of articles today which raise concerns about drinking cola, particularly coke and Pepsi, and other sugary drinks and I’ve found them quite disturbing.

It has been reported that men who have just one sugary drink per day (excluding fruit juice) are 20% more at risk of developing a heart attack. This was even after taking into consideration other risk factors, such as smoking, alcohol consumption, exercise and family history. They were found to have higher levels of triglycerides and HDL, bad cholesterol. Not surprisingly, both the American Beverage Association and the Sugar Association stressed that the main culprit was not the sugar itself, but lifestyle.

Also, it seems that the makers of Coca-Cola and Pepsi have asked the manufacturers of the colouring agent they use, to reduce one of it’s ingredients because it’s been linked to cancer in animals. If they left levels as they currently are, to meet California legislation they would have to put a cancer warning onto the label. Both companies say this change will not affect the drink’s taste but are only planning to make the changes in the US, rather than world-wide.

If this is true, I have to ask myself the question, WHY? If it really doesn’t affect the taste, colour or formula, surely having less of one ingredient would make it cheaper to manufacture, or is there some ulterior motive to leaving things unchanged?

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