I have written in the past about the dangers of drinking soda and other heavily sugared drinks. (And the danger of drinking diet soda as well). Apparently my nationwide influence isn’t quite as big as I thought because a CDC study recently released shows that half of all Americans are drinking a soda or other sugared drink every day. And the numbers are worse for males, teenagers, poorer people and some ethnic minorities. Note that some sweet drinks weren’t even included in this count – specifically diet sodas, sweetened teas, flavored milks and 100 percent fruit juice. Since all of these (except diet sodas) have just as much sugar as regular soda, the real numbers are even higher.
The news has prompted as many as 100 groups to start a new push to stop people drinking sugared drinks. These range from the American Heart Association to city health departments across the country. Sadly the goal of the new campaign is simply to get people down to three cans of sugary drinks per week by the year 2020. And the American Beverage Association is fighting back by claiming “contrary to what may be implied by the introductory statement of this (CDC) data brief that reaches back 30 years, sugar-sweetened beverages are not driving health issues like obesity and diabetes.”
What’s at the root of the problem? There are 10 to 12 teaspoons of sugar in a can of any soda like Coke. That’s a lot of sugar.
And despite the American Beverage Association’s assertions, people are drinking more soda than they were 30 years ago and a LOT more than they drank 60 years ago.
So what should you do instead? Drink water, maybe with a slice of fruit in it, or tea (not sweetened). Frankly, despite the boom in bottled water, tap water is fine. It’s cheap and in the Bay Area it is about as pure as can be found anywhere in the world. Maybe even the best in the world.