The prohibition on the sale of soft drinks in basic education schools
I was very pleased to hear that the Social Security and Family Commission have approved the bill [PL 1755/07] which prohibits the sale of soft drinks in public or private primary schools (from the first to the ninth year). The bill will now be examined by the Commission on Constitution and Justice and Citizenship and will be forwarded to the Plenary of the Chamber of Deputies, but we have already made great progress in raising the awareness of the harmful effects of soft drinks, especially among children. The project rapporteur cited an IBGE survey based on the Family Budget Survey (“POF”) conducted between 2008 and 2009, which indicates that 14.3% of children between 5 and 9 years old are obese. The problem affects all social classes in Brazil. “We are living an overweight epidemic. Society needs to seek alternatives to face this problem” said Zenaide Maia. The amount of sugar in a can of 355 mL of soft drink is
around 37.27 grams, which extrapolates the maximum daily amount recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), which is 25 grams. In addition to the large amounts of sugar and sodium, soft drinks generally contain dyes (the dangerous caramel dye), preservatives, acidulants and phosphoric acid. The consumption of soft drinks can cause diseases like gastritis, kidney stones, obesity, diabetes, esophageal cancer, caries, dental erosion and increase cholesterol levels. It is foolish to think that the Zero, Diet, Light or Stevia versions are healthier. In these versions, manufacturers reduce the amount of sugar and increase the amount of sodium to improve palatability. There are versions with 49.70 mg of sodium in 355 ml of refrigerant. Another risk of these versions is that some of them contain aspartame, a synthetic sweetener. There are researches that relate the use of aspartame to tumors, allergies, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, epilepsy, lupus, infertility, fibromyalgia and migraines.