imyeyes-banner-sqIn My EyesBy Edward B. Antonio

A Toothless Order

Edward B. Antonio

DepEd Order No. 8, s. 2007 is something to go over one more, fellas.

Eight years ago, this order came out with directives to all school administrators for compliance. The order strictly prohibits the sale of carbonated drinks, sugar-based synthetic or artificially flavoured juices, junk foods and any food product that maybe detrimental to the child’s health, do not bear the Sangkap Pinoy seal or did not pass BFAD approval. It also states that only nutrient-rich foods shall be sold in the school canteen.

But since time immemorial, public schools all over the country have been selling carbonated drinks and junk foods to pupils and students. School authorities have been tolerating their sale. Parents do the same.

But how dangerous are carbonated drinks (and its additives) and junk foods to the human body, fellas?

Carbonated water is harder to digest than normal water and the process takes long. This pressurizes the kidney and makes you run to the washroom frequently to get rid of excess water.

Health experts say carbonated water in carbonated drinks is acidic and weakens the bones leading to osteoporosis. It is associated to cancer and pressures the kidneys leading to dehydration. It leads to absorption of calcium that can make your bones weak. Losing calcium in young age is a bad sign, as the bones may not support your body weight and make you feel tired all the time. Acid based drinks also cause tooth decay and cavities.

The discoloration of your teeth can also be blamed on carbonated drinks due its high sugar content.

Experts say it contains same amount of acid that we may find in toilet and floor cleaners. It is said that carbonated drinks can actually clean the toilet seat!

As carbonated water cannot flush out the toxins, you may find your skin getting dull due to the dirt within. It can also affect your system making it upset for longer periods. It is also said that too much of carbonated water leads to higher risk of cancer. Experts have found a relation between cancer and carbonation. People who are addicted to it rank high for this kind of risk. Carbonated water is also not good for people with kidney stone. Many a times it is believed that carbonation can also promote kidney stone.

Caffeine, another soda drink ingredient, causes insomnia, palpitations and has a diuretic effect that may trigger unwanted fluid loss. It also causes feelings of anxiety or blurred vision, increases one’s susceptibility to rheumatoid arthritis and, in excessive amounts, causes nervousness, jitters and rapid heartbeat.

Carbonated drinks also contain a significant amount of sugar. Sugar contains no fiber, no minerals, no proteins, no fats, no enzymes, only empty calories and is related to obesity and weight-related diseases. Sugar feeds cancer, weakens eyesight, decreases growth hormones and causes cardio-vascular diseases, diabetes and dental problems. Many times, so much calcium is used to neutralize the effects of sugar that the bones become osteoporotic due to the withdrawn calcium. Likewise, the teeth are affected and they lose their components until decay occurs and hastens their loss.

Refined sugar is void of all nutrients, consequently it causes the body to deplete its own stores of various vitamins, minerals and enzymes. If sugar consumption is continued, an over-acid condition results, and more minerals are needed from deep in the body to correct the imbalance. If the body is lacking the nutrients used to metabolize sugar, it will not be able to properly handle and rid itself of the poisonous residues. These wastes accumulate through the brain and nervous system, which speeds up cellular death. The bloodstream becomes overloaded with waste products and symptoms of carbonic poisoning result. Drinking acidic drinks over a long period of time and continuous sipping can therefore erode the tooth enamel. Using a drinking straw is often advised by dentists as the drink does not come into as much contact with the teeth. It has also been suggested that brushing teeth right after drinking soft drinks should be avoided as this can result in additional erosion to the teeth due to the presence of acid.

Another soda drink ingredient is aspartame. This chemical is used as a sugar substitute in diet soda. There are over 92 different health side effects associated with aspartame consumption including brain tumors, birth defects, diabetes, emotional disorders and epilepsy/seizures. Further, when aspartame is stored for long periods of time or kept in warm areas it changes to methanol, an alcohol that converts to formaldehyde and formic acid, which are known carcinogens.

On the other hand, junk foods such as fries and salted snack foods like chips, crisps, candy, gum, most sweet desserts and fried fast foodcontain high levels of fats, salt, or sugar, preservatives, additives and coloring agents but little or no fruit, vegetables, or dietary fiber. Junk food consumption alters brain activity in a manner similar to addictive drugs like cocaine or heroin. The fat contents have high cholesterol levels leading to obesity and can cause diseases ranging from blood pressure, stroke and heart diseases to kidney failure. Some food preservatives, coloring and other forms of additives are carcinogenic and can trigger migraine, skin rashes and asthma.

These are just simple researches, fellas, in fact, there are tons of them.

But why do you think schools have been ignoring this DepEd Order for so many years?

First, it is a lucrative business. Carbonated drinks are easy to sell. Each bottle can already earn for the school a gain up to P2.00. Profits accumulated are used to finance school projects. In fact, canteen gains from carbonated drinks are the number one source of school funds outside the MOOE (Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses) funds coming from the government.

Second, carbonated drink companies also offer incentives to schools that can sell their products in volumes.

Third, junk foods, like carbonated drinks come in handy packs, unlike food in native preparations which are difficult to prepare. Junk foods come in handy with carbonated drinks.

Fourth, there has been no strict implementation of the order. It has been openly defied by school administrators puera de los buenos.

Early this year, to protect the health of school children, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Ilocos Sur has formulated a provincial dogwatch headed by a Sangguniang Panlalawigan member to oversee the implementation of the defied DepEd Order.

Fifth, there is no popular support to the order. Most parents and teachers keep on consuming carbonated drinks and junk foods. Children naturally follow what their teachers and parents do. It’s just like saying, “Do what I say but do not do what I do!”

I believe that this DepEd Order be given a chance. It would be a useless venture if this order does not have teeth.

What do you think, fellas?#