"There is good evidence that cola beverages can increase the risk of kidney problems, more so than noncola sodas."
I have blogged about cola beverages earlier. I recently heard a talk by my dear friend Martine Padilla a nutritionist and food economist, about the change in diets around the Mediterranean. Obesity is on the rise everywhere, but more so in poor countries (Egypt came first) and affecting poor people more than the rich, as the rich are more aware of nutritional issues and can afford the higher price tag of "healthier" food. In the Northern Mediterranean countries (France, Italy, Greece, Spain) diets are becoming increasingly Anglo-Saxon with more meat and more animal fats. In the countries of the southern Mediterranean (North Africa), cereals are still the main source of calories, but these countries are experiencing a tremendous surge in the consumption of sugar in foods but mostly in drinks. Martine gave the example of people who now drink cola beverages instead of the traditional drinks to accompany couscous. In Lebanon, people drink cola with everything, and in Ramadan, many muslim break the fast with cola and the traditional licorice root juice (sous) has almost disappeared. Cola with manoucheh, with shawarma, with most street foods, in extra large bottles.