Every so often there is a seemingly absurd health craze that has many people fawning all over it. However, they are often short-lived, especially since more and more people are becoming increasingly aware of what they put in their bodies. With the rise of health advocates and food aficionados pushing toward healthier eating and living habits, it's no wonder food is under constant research. Is brown sugar, for instance, healthier for you? How much water do you actually need to drink per day? Is breakfast as important as people say? These are just some of the questions that have been posed in the recent years. Now we are taking a look back at some of the most popular items that were once deemed healthy but have now been proven otherwise — you’ll be shocked by some of them.  

1. Soda

Originally soft drinks or carbonated beverages were thought to have many health benefits. In the early 1800s pharmacists all over America began adding their own herbs and medicines to the sparkling water and selling them as health drinks — creating the first soft drink. Then, around 1851, ginger ale was created and sold in Ireland. Thirty years later, the first cola drink came around and, from then on, colas and soft drinks became American symbols. Now many studies show the harmful effects that might result from drinking too much soda, including obesity and diabetes. Some studies have even shown the caramel coloring chemical in cola has been linked to certain cancers.

2. Cigarettes

Before public health advocates and government agencies began their crackdown on cigarette smoking, it was once advocated for by physicians across the country.  It was fueled by large tobacco companies, like Lucky Strike in conjunction with smart advertising executives. They played on the fact that citizens put great trust in their physicians. When health concerns about tobacco and cigarettes came into light in the 1930s and companies took action, they "capitalized on the public’s trust of physicians in order to quell concerns about the dangers of smoking,” according to Healio.com. “Thus was born the use of physicians in cigarette advertisements.” The Surgeon General's Report on Smoking and Health in 1964 was the first time the governement announced cigarette smoking and tobacco use was linked to cancer. 

3. Cocaine

Cocaine is one of the oldest stimulants that has natural origins. The coca leaf, from which the drug is created, was originally used by indigenous Peruvians who chewed the leaves during religious ceremonies. In the early 1900s, it was used by Hollywood actors who promoted messages advocating for the drug because of its miraculous effects. Famous psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, who used cocaine himself, also claimed that the drug helped to cure depression and sexual impotence. After a few years of it gaining popularity, the United States started seeing a spike in cocaine-related deaths — it was eventually banned in 1922. Cocaine causes such a high that a person coming down from it can slip into a depression that causes them to want the drug even more, making it one of the most addictive substances out there.