The Question Your Doctor Probably Isn’t Asking You
Every time you see a physician, he or she likely asks if you smoke, take medications or do one of countless other activities that affect our health. But there is one questions the doctor probably isn't asking you and should.
It is no shock that regular consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks like soda is bad for our health. Soft drinks have been linked to numerous health concerns over the years. But most doctors never ask us how many sodas we drink a day, and they really should, according to Ross Kristal, a medical student at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
"Information about a patient's diet and physical activity are vitally important in preventing and managing certain diseases, yet it's rarely captured in medical records," Kristal says.
In a recent study, Kristal and his colleagues found that 40 percent of adults who consumed one or more sugar-sweetened beverages a day were also more likely to smoke, eat no servings of fruit or vegetables each day, and rarely walked or biked for exercise. According to the study, these adults were also more likely to be women and to be diagnosed with type two diabetes and hypertension.
So why should physicians ask how many sodas we consume on a daily basis? Kristal sums it up pretty succinctly when he says, "These associations can help our providers narrow down on perhaps who would be more at risk for some of these unhealthy behaviors which can lead to these poor health outcomes."