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Diet and Nutrition

Mountain Dew Consumption

05/08/2003

Question:

What are the long term health risks in drinking 5 20 oz bottles of Mountain Dew a day if a person is on the average of 140 pounds and 5`6

Answer:

Thanks for your question. To my knowledge, there isn`t any research to support health `risks` of drinking 100 oz of Mt. Dew per day- however, there may be some detrimental effects. Regular Mt. Dew contains about 10 teaspoons of sugar per 12 oz can. In 5 20 oz bottles, this is the equivalent of 120 teaspoons of sugar per day, or 1,920 calories. Although your weight is within normal limits for your height, excess calorie consumption can lead to overweight or obesity in the long run. Excess sugar in the diet (especially from soft drinks) is associated with increased risk of dental caries (cavities). In addition, Mt. Dew does not contain any nutrients except sugar. So, you may be giving up healthy calories from food or other nutritious beverages (like milk or juice) for a less than nutritious soft drink. Poor nutrition may be the result of over consumption of regular soda. Mt. Dew is also high in caffeine- a central nervous system stimulant. Although caffeine in moderation (< 300 mg/day) is safe, excess amounts may increase heart rate and possibly blood pressure. Excess caffeine intake has also been linked with increased calcium excretion in the urine- a potential risk for osteoporosis. Finally, Mt. Dew contains a number of chemicals that are not necessary in our diets such as artificial coloring and flavoring. So although there may not be a direct link with cancer, heart disease or other chronic condition with Mt. Dew, it doesn`t have any redeeming qualities either to justify its consumption.

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Response by:

Lisa Cicciarello Andrews, MEd, RD, LD Lisa Cicciarello Andrews, MEd, RD, LD
Adjunct Faculty
University of Cincinnati