Create awareness of a particular diet choice... Answered
What would make the world a better place...depends how you define world, and your benchmark for what distinguishes better place. This contest suggests things that would improve home, neighborhood, society, and planet. I have an idea that would improve all of the above!
Health: Personal back story: Growing up I drank a lot of pop. It was not uncommon to polish of a 12 pack of soda in a day or two, and this would happen regularly. For the last fifteen years I've consumed at least 2-4 liters of cola per week, if you average it out (probably closer to ten). Thats a conservative 2000 litres of cola. At ~120 grams of sugar per Liter, that works out to a whopping 240 KILOGRAMS of sugar. Now, were my parents terrible? I don't think so - the knowledge wasnt out there that us kids were being fed a high sugar highly addictive substance that really messed with our bodies.
I can personally account that I had a terrible sleep schedule growing up, and I can directly attribute it to sugar/caffeine. Unlike many friends I know I managed to stay skinny and somewhat 'in shape' through hyperactivity. The artificial insomnia destroyed my school scores - as I spent a lot of time very tired in class, not paying attention - and was even suggested to go on medications to 'fix' how 'weird' I acted. Most all of my child teeth and adult teeth are full of fillings where I had cavities - and I can't have cold food touch my teeth because I have almost no enamel left. Consider now the direct economic cost of this: At an average of a dollar per liter - multiply by the number of 'addicted' heavy user kids out there, and you have yourself a staggering amount. I'm not alone. I know lots of friends with similar stories - some less fortunate with serious health problems like diabetes and bariatric problems.
Economy: The high fructose corn syrup industry has halfway destroyed the cane sugar market in many third world countries. Soda machines all over, often in schools, rape the pocketbooks of young persons for a product they don't need. Pretend for a moment you are a drug dealer gang boss. Now imagine you can put a legal salesman in most every school, "free". I don't need to explain the rest of the story.
Society: Soft drinks are not 'evil' - they are an enjoyable vice that when taken in reasonable quantity aren't that harmful. Therein lies the problem - they are marketed as the be-all and end-all to be happy, thirst quenched, and popular. Couple this with the fact that they contain high levels of two of the most addictive legal substances out there: Caffeine and glucose. Our nervous systems don't stand a chance.
Environment: Frankly you'd be surprised how much carbon dioxide comes from the soda industry - that fizz goes somewhere after you *kssshk* open the can. High fructose corn syrup is bad not just for your body but for the environment. Some areas are very good at recycling, but still others are brutally abysmal at their three R's. Many COUNTRIES in fact don't recycle at all. That's a LOT of plastic and aluminum ending up in the environment, to be there long after we are gone.
My proposal: What I want to see is awareness campaigns of the health risks of being a heavy user - in conjunction with warning labels similar to what the tobacco industry has on their products. I want to see their huge profits going into the community (like in this contest - more of it!). Make companies accountable for their products.
photo courtesy freefoto.com