WARNING: The products in this article may be harmful to your health!
What’s worse? You may not realize they’re bad for you, and some of the items are even considered or marketed as healthier options — yikes!
What if someone doesn’t know a lot about health yet wants to start making some healthier choices? Shopping for better-for-you products can be confusing, so perhaps warning labels could help (at least some) people make better decisions.
These 7 products should be sold with health warnings on their labels!
1. Sugary Drinks
Recently, lawmakers and medical experts in California proposed a law requiring sugary drinks, like soda and fruity drinks, sold in the state to have warning labels like those on cigarettes. Research links sugary drink consumption to rising rates of diabetes, tooth decay, and obesity.
The label, which would be required on all cans and bottles of soda and fruit beverages with added sweeteners with 75 or more calories per 12 ounces, would read: “STATE OF CALIFORNIA SAFETY WARNING: Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, diabetes and tooth decay.”
A majority of California voters support this idea of health-warning labels on sodas and other sugary drinks.
Consider these shocking facts:
- One pouch of an “organics” store brand of fruit punch has 25 grams of sugar. (That’s the highest amount of sugar most women should consume in a day, according to The American Heart Association, and men should consume no more than 38 grams of added sugar daily.)
- Odwalla Superfood juice has 50 grams of sugar — the equivalent of five Krispy Kreme doughnuts!
- Vitamin Water has 33 grams of sugar per 20-ounce bottle. Another reason Vitamin Water isn’t a healthy choice? Some of the vitamins are fat soluble and, therefore, not fully absorbed by your body.
2. Energy Drinks
Here’s another beverage we drink too much of: energy drinks. People might even gulp down four or five a day, especially late at night when mixed with alcohol. And teens, too, are drinking them at alarming rates.
The problem? The caffeine content in most energy drinks varies between 50 milligrams to more than 500 milligrams, and the recommended daily maximum is 200 to 300 milligrams.
Excess consumption can lead to panic attacks, vomiting, heart attacks, and in some cases, death. But often times, the caffeine content isn’t even listed on these drinks, and our speed-obsessed culture makes it seem perfectly fine to drink these drinks daily.
Also, the sugar content in energy drinks ranges from 21 to 34 grams per eight ounces and often comes in harmful forms like high-fructose corn syrup.
So, warning labels that state the perils of too much caffeine and sugar are greatly needed for energy drinks. At the very least, these products should be required to list the amount of caffeine.
3. Hot Dogs, Bacon, and Other Processed Meats
Many studies — at least 58 — show how eating hot dogs and other processed meats is linked with colorectal cancer. And other studies have linked these products to cancer of the ovaries and prostate, as well as leukemia.
Theses meats are smoked, cured, salted, or put through other chemical procedures to preserve them, and chemicals are added, such as nitrates — which are known carcinogens.
Some scary studies:
- Meats cooked at high temperatures, including smoking, may harm your brain and contribute to your chance of getting diabetes.
- Another study found how people who ate about 3.5 servings more per week of red meat increased their risk of developing Type-2 diabetes by 50 percent.
- Also, a study from the Harvard School of Public Health found that each daily serving of hot dogs, bacon, cold cuts, and other processed meats increases the risk of dying prematurely by 20 percent.
4. Canned Foods
Most canned foods, except some brands like Eden Organics, have been bathing in BPA, a chemical linked to breast and prostate cancer, as well as infertility, early puberty in girls, obesity, and ADHD. In fact, in one study, 92 percent of cans were found to be contaminated with BPA.
In 2013, California added BPA to its list of compounds that by state law must contain a warning label due to their known carcinogenic and reproductive damage properties.
Also, many canned goods have high levels of sodium.
Yogurt is often promoted as a healthy snack option, and many people choose fat-free products looking to make better choices for themselves. But fat-free does not mean sugar-free, and these products are so often laden with sugar — up to 20 grams per container.
Many products also have artificial flavors and colors. Plus, yogurt and other dairy products contain high levels of the protein casein, which is difficult for the body to process, highly addictive, and potentially toxic. And to top it off, dairy contains hormones, which are linked to cancer.
6. Microwave Popcorn
Popcorn can be a healthy snack, but microwave popcorn products often contain a substance in the lining that has been linked to several forms of cancer and infertility. And many of the products have too many bad fats and too much sodium.
7. Products with Artificial Food Coloring
Foods containing dyes have been linked to ADHD, so they are a particular concern for children. The European Union already placed warning labels on foods containing six dyes it feels adversely affect kids — including Blue no. 1, Red No. 40, and Yellow No. 5. But the FDA decided foods with these dyes don’t need warning labels.
But these artificial dyes aren’t only of concern for kids. Some are linked to cancer, migraines, anxiety, and other health concerns as well.
If you don’t already, all of this information should inspire you to read the back of the products you buy or are considering buying. Of course, you won’t find out the BPA content or other harmful components of the item, but it will be a good start to making better choices for your health.
What other products deserve health warning labels?
Image source: WIkimedia Commons