Take a Number: Americans Are Putting Down the Soda Pop

Photo
Soda pop at a store in New Jersey. Sugary drink consumption has declined in the United States, according to a new study.

Credit
Karsten Moran for The New York Times

Sugar-sweetened drinks are not as popular as they once were.

According to a new study based on a continuing national health survey, 60.7 percent of children and 50 percent of adults drank a sugary beverage on any given day in 2014, down from 79.7 percent of children and 61.5 percent of adults in 2003.

The study, published in the journal Obesity, relied on a representative sample of 18,000 children 2 to 19 years old, and 27,652 adults aged 20 and older. They were asked about their beverage consumption over the past 24 hours: juice, milk, sugar and diet soda, coffee and tea, sports drinks, water and alcohol.

Per capita consumption of all drinks declined. Children took in 312.6 drink calories a day in 2014, compared with 473.8 a day in 2003. Among adults, the figure was 341.1 calories in 2014, compared with 425.0 in 2003.

Most of that decline was driven by a reduction in the number of people drinking sugar-sweetened beverages, and lower consumption among those who did still drink them.

Over the 12 years of the study, milk was the favorite drink for children aged 2 to 11; adolescents and adults still got most of their drink calories from sweetened soda and other sugary beverages.

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