The power of brands is something no one nowadays (at least no one sane) would deny. Several decades ago, brands would attract customers with established reputations, clever advertising, and the quality of what they produced; currently, brands declare and promote values, and those whom these values appeal to become loyal customers of one brand or another. And there are brands that have already been long enough on the market to be renowned and trusted, and which never disdain from new marketing and advertising trends; such brands possess a double power: the power of tradition and history, and the power of modern technologies.
Such brands are numerous, and people consume many goods produced by them without even critically evaluating the value, purpose, and reason of such consumption. For example, instead of seeing into a number of cell phone models present on the market and choosing the one most suitable for their needs, an average customer simply goes for an iPhone, just because he or she knows that “it’s a good phone.” But how do they know if they have supposedly never tried it out before? The answer is advertising and the power of branding: Apple markets its devices extremely cleverly, turning them into something similar to an apple (pun intended) from the Eden knowledge tree.
Or, let us take Pepsi: people who want caffeinated soda just go and buy Pepsi; they do not need to think twice, because marketologists, advertising agencies, and the communications this brand constructs have already determined these people’s choices. But if you ask, “Why have you chosen Pepsi specifically? How is it different from other competitors such as Coca-Cola?” The answer will most likely be unintelligible, because there are no specific reasons to choose Pepsi over Coke, or vice versa.
Speaking of Coca-Cola and other soda drinks similar to it, the power of advertising is so great that its consumers rarely or never think about the effects these drinks have on one’s body. Further on in this paper, writing “Coca-Cola” will also mean any other caffeinated soda drink: Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, whatsoever. The truth is that Coca-Cola is able to negatively affect one’s health condition in a number of peculiar ways. Let us take a closer look at what people who drink soda a lot subject themselves to.
Obviously, these drinks contain a lot of caffeine and sugar—which, if consumed regularly and uncontrollable, can lead to a number of diseases such as diabetes. Besides, Coca-Cola and other similar drinks contain Aspartame: an artificial non-saccharide sweetener used instead of sugar. It is funny how people caring about their health buy Cola “without sugar,” thinking they are on the safer side; the irony is that Aspartame used in such drinks is more harmful than sugar: in several developed countries, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and other companies using Aspartame in their products have been sued for using it (Healthy Drinks). Aspartame is highly disparaged for the consumption of children, as it can cause several diseases, obesity and cancer in particular. It is important to mention though that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (as well as health organizations in 90 countries around the world) have found Aspartame safe for consumption.
Speaking of sugar in beverages: according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, sugary drinks are being regularly consumed by approximately 50% of the United States population; by “regularly” statistics mean any given day. The highest rate of consumed sugary beverages is among teenagers. A regular can of soda is claimed to contain an equivalent of 10 teaspoons of sugar; at the same time, the amount recommended for daily consumption by the WHO (World Health Organization) equals just six teaspoons maximum, which means that drinking a single can of Pepsi or Coca-Cola means exceeding the advised rate by 1.5 times. Research conducted by Harvard School of Public Health suggests that those who drink up to two cans of soda per day have, on average, a 26% higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. This, as well as the fact that, according to some research, the overconsumption of sugar causes 184,000 global deaths annually (Medical News Today).
Other negative health effects of drinking Cola include problems with teeth, in particular, dental erosion and dental demineralization, hypersensitivity of teeth, calcium washing out, and ruination of enamel. This, as well as the fact that Coca-Cola drinks contain phosphoric acid and some other dangerous chemical substances, should be enough for a regular consumer to rethink his or her position on drinking soda (Flipper).
People rarely evaluate their consumption critically; most often, their consumption is guided by advertising and brand communication. Even when consumers are well aware of the negative effects of the products they consume, they rarely change their habits. In particular, this tendency applies to Coca-Cola and other sugary beverages: even though they can cause diabetes, heart diseases, problems with teeth, obesity, and even early death, the number of consumers preferring soda over regular water remains high all over the world.
“6 Harmful Effects of Drinking Coca-Cola, Coke, or Pepsi.” Healthy Drinks, www.healthy-drinks.net/6-harmful-effects-of-drinking-coca-cola-coke-or-pepsi/.
Whiteman, Honor. “How Coca-Cola Affects Your Body When You Drink It.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 15 Aug. 2015, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/297600.php.
“Coca Cola: Negative Effects.” Flipper, flipper.diff.org/app/items/info/7199.
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