The soft drink industry includes all the businesses involved in creating and selling various soft drink products. Most soft drinks are carbonated, although the term can also be used to describe nearly any sweet-tasting beverage other than pure water that doesn’t contain alcohol. The industry employs people all over the world for the purposes of creating the drinks, shipping them, and selling them to the public. At one time, many soft drinks were considered medicinal, but in more recent times, they’ve come under fire for potential health dangers because of the high quantities of sugar in some products.
In the very earliest days, drinks like lemonade were commonly called soft drinks, and later, the invention of carbonation led to the creation of many of the popular soft drink brands. In those days, carbonated water was thought to have great potential health benefits, so the products were often sold as medicines. Many of them were also specifically flavored with a mixture of sugar and certain herbs that were thought to have medicinal properties. Sometimes people would actually take a daily dose of a particular soft-drink brand as a way to fight stomach problems or other issues. In most cases, the drinks didn’t have any real health benefits, but people at the time believed they did.
Eventually, the soft drink industry evolved to the point where it was solely focused on providing people with refreshment. The drinks became very popular, and all sorts of methods of selling them were created, including vending machines and different bottling sizes. The popularity of the soft drink industry spread all over the world, and it eventually reached the point where many people took in a large portion of their daily water purely through soft drink consumption.
Due to the high levels of sugar and corn syrup in certain products, some experts believe the soft drink industry might be partially responsible for worldwide increases in obesity levels. Intake of simple carbohydrates like sugar tends to cause spikes in blood glucose levels and may also lead to type II diabetes in the long term. Some experts also feel that these products are especially dangerous because the sugar is being consumed in liquid form, which might allow the body to process it more efficiently.
In response to these health concerns, the soft drink industry has created several low-calorie and sugar-free drinks. Some of these rely on various artificial sweeteners and many have become very popular. There is still some debate about whether the diet soft drinks are really healthy, and some experts worry that they may have too much sodium or other additives.