Intended for healthcare professionals

Editor's Choice

Public health or research—money matters

BMJ 2018; 361 doi: (Published 12 April 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;361:k1607

A Stone more on People’s Shoes.

It's obvious if soft drink manufacturers must pay tax linked to their products sugar’s content, the price of those drinks will increase and people's consumption of them will decrease.

Social problems are directly related to corruption. I am head teacher of Clinical Biochemistry in the health’s faculty of Surcolombiana University in Neiva, a very hot city located near Bogotá. I am very concerned by decisions that nowadays are taking the vital forces that govern the social dynamics of a country. I have definitely noticed that most of the time there is no correspondence between natural rules and social rules, possibly because those who legislate don’t know how the natural world works.

It seems to me serious and dangerous to promote a dynamic directed toward decreasing consumption of hydrating drinks. In Neiva, a city where people live in very extreme climatological conditions, and, as in other Latin-American countries, poverty is the queen, it’s very important for people to drink high quality beverages. Hypertonic dehydration is a very common problem as a logical result of living in these very sunny and hot zones. Diseases related to dehydration processes, such as gallstones and nephrolithiasis, are also very common. The only products consumed by people for hydrating their bodies are soft drinks and during meals, they drink liquid foods such as soup. The problem is that in our countries there is no control on beverage production and factories make saleable sweet beverages with a composition that people like but that are very dangerous for their health. Hydrating beverages must not be rich in fuel molecules and must have the right particle concentration, no more than 100 miliosmols per liter, and a correct quality composition, to allow people to recover both the total volume of their body fluids and their osmolarity. It’s urgent and necessary to promote a culture directed to the right manufacture of healthy beverages and food products and also to unmask and battle unscrupulous leaders who earn their living at the expense of people's suffering.

Competing interests: No competing interests

13 April 2018
Emilio Polo Ledesma
Ph. D. Proteolytic Enzymes - Nutrition. Clinical Biochemistry Teacher
Polo Rivera C. E. Fourth Year Resident in Radiology - Buenos Aires - Argentina
Neiva Research Center of Navarra Universitary Foundation. PACA Research Group and Member of the Doctorate's Advisory Group in Health Sciences of Surcolombiana university.
Health's Faculty - Medicine - Surcolombiana university. Calle 9 * Carrera 14 - Altico - Neiva - Colombia