Americans Drinking Less Soda.

It’s true: I’m not a big fan of soda. In fact, as this video illustrates, I’d rather clean with Coca-Cola than ingest it.

The reality is sugary drinks are still a major source of calories. In fact, some studies even peg soda as the number one calorie source in the average American’s diet. That’s more calories from soda than alcohol, cake, bread, pizza, French fries or anything else. For the record, the National Cancer Institute ranks soda as the number 4 source.

But things are changing. Slowly.

Research shows that per capita soda consumption has dropped about 16% from its peak in 1998. In 2011, average soda consumption even dipped below 2 servings per day for the first time in a long time. In a different study, researchers found that sugar consumption decreased by about 25% in the last decade – mostly due to decreased soda consumption.

It seems that consumers and decision-makers are finally getting the message about soda. In fact, in recent years, sodas have been banned from many schools and a slew of local governments are removing carbonated beverages from public facilities. But despite the headwinds, carbonated soft drinks are a $75 billion industry in the United Sates.

A 16% decrease is a great start – but we’ve still got a long ways to go.

It begs the question: Instead of soda, what are consumers drinking? What’s filling our void? According to research (and illustrated in the above graph), Americans are drinking more bottled water and more non-carbonated soft drinks like Gatorade, Vitamin Water and others. Though water is always a great choice, many non-carbonated drinks are just as calorie-dense as soda. Gatorade is great to drink when running a marathon, but it’s not a healthy choice to consume while playing video games.

Is this research indicative of your own consumption habits? Are you drinking less soda? Let me know in the comments below.

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Comments

  1. I quit drinking soda quite a while ago along with coffee. I only drink water and Dutch butter milk nowadays, with the occasional glass of fruit juice.

  2. I don’t drink soda except maybe once a month, and even then it usually has rum in it. ๐Ÿ™‚ Otherwise I drink water primarily, followed by tea, coffee, and fruit juice, in that order.

  3. I quit drinking soda at the beginning of the year and it isn’t hard to stay away from it. I only drink water and tea. I don’t regret quitting soda as it has zero nutritional value.

  4. Drinking no pop, nothing carbonated, no sugary drinks (not even juice). I drink filtered tap water and carry around a big water bottle (recycled plastics, in case anyone was wondering).

  5. Im still finding it really tough to give up drinking Coke and Pepsi. At home its not so difficult, just drink tea, water or juice but when Im out for a day and go for fast food with my friends I always tend to go for Coke as a treat…I have picked the healthier water option at times which Im glad of but when it comes to the Cinema its gotta be a large coke and large popcorn Im afraid ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. I’m addicted to Coke Zero, although calorie free it’s still not good for me. I do stop drinking Coke Zero from time to time and then I just drink mostly water all day and wine at night.

  7. Back when I weighed 300 pounds, soda was the only thing I would drink. Now the thought of drinking it makes me sick. I figured this out last summer when I could not get halfway through a soda that my professor offered me. I really only like to drink regular water, and because of that, I’ve lost almost 100 pounds since high school!

  8. I consider myself a relatively healthy eater, but soda is my weakness. I’ve tried water, tea, juice, etc, which are all fine, but don’t quite fill the void. After a nice tall glass of iced tea, I still want soda – but not for the taste. I crave carbonation and fizz. Is there a carbonated replacement for soda? Or is it the carbonation itself what’s adding all those calories to my diet?

    • Can’t you just go for plain soda water which is water that has been carbonated if you are only after the fizz?

  9. Jonathan Pritchard says:

    I drink water 95% of the time, when I want something else I have either:
    A.) Milk
    B.) Club Soda
    C.) A mixed drink with Midori and fruity Malibu ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I never drink straight soda. It’s far too sweet for me and just ends up making me more thirsty.

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