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The Pediatric Forum |

Soft Drinks: A Safe Refreshment

Richard H. Adamson, PhD
Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2001;155(2):200. doi:10.1001/archpedi.155.2.199.
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The study by Grace Wyshak1 is deficient in 3 areas: (1) appropriate scientific citation, (2) methods, and (3) mechanism hypothesis.

The article begins by citing a self-published non-peer–reviewed article2 by an activist group that contains misinformation, exaggerates risk, and lowers the standard of scientific discourse.

The methods used in this study is insubstantial. It involves self-reporting without validation. The study is unable to show that girls with fractures were ever exposed to carbonated beverages before the fracture event. It is not quantitative in measuring intake of soft drinks. It does not assess other known risk factors for fractures. Neither the cause nor the site of the fracture are given. Was the fracture sustained in an automobile accident, as a result of physical abuse, while participating in sports, or as a result of a fall or trip? Furthermore, had the author asked about the intake of sports drinks and bottled water, it is likely that "high-level activity" girls would also have consumed these to a greater extent. Although the author comments on the serious limitations of the study, she then brazenly champions the importance of its findings. The lack of a well-designed study renders any conclusions about the association between soft drink consumption and bone fractures purely speculative.


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