So most of my buddies know I have a few daily routines I can't help but do each morning. My newspapers, CNN.com, my forums and GOOD MORNING AMERICA! While watching GMA this morning I saw that they will be doing a special on "The Hidden America - Children of the Mountains". In the hills of central Appalachia where children and families are facing unthinkable conditions in which most Americans take for granted. Appalachia have three times the national poverty rate, an epidemic of prescription drug abuse, the shortest life spans in the nation, toothlessness, cancer and chronic depression. What I find quite amazing is that more than half of these people's dental issues come from an addiction to MOUNTAIN DEW! Yes, Mountain Dew folks. It has an extremly high rate of caffeine, sugar and acid. There is a 6% increased rate of tooth enamel and is said to be addictive. There were several children as well as adults on the program who stated they were addicted to Mtn. Dew and had been drinking it since they were children. Most of these people's teeth were rotten, broken, missing and just plain awful. When GMA asked Pepsi/Mountain Dew for a response the general statement was that this was "irresponsible reporting and that people should floss after drinking sweets, soda and sex and they needed a more personal hygiene". Well I've shortened the state but that was the jist. This area has the biggest epidemic of toothlessness in the nation with 1 out of 10 adults missing teeth. The area is so poor that milk, fruits and veggies are often unaffordable. Mountain Dew is often put in baby bottles. It is not uncommon to see several cavities in 2 year old baby teeth. Diane Sawyer reports on this and more tonight on 20/20. If you have time at 10pm please try to catch this special.
I've been known to give my little ones soda now and then, but it's a rare treat. I'm tempted to cut it out completely now.