… reports the Times:
[T]he soda industry is winning the policy battles over the future of its product. But the bigger picture is that soda companies are losing the war.
Even as anti-obesity campaigners like [Philadelphia Mayor Michael A.] Nutter have failed to pass taxes, they have accomplished something larger. In the course of the fight, they have reminded people that soda is not a very healthy product. They have echoed similar messages coming from public health researchers and others — and fundamentally changed the way Americans think about soda.
The Times piece explains that "The drop in soda consumption represents the single largest change in the American diet in the last decade and is responsible for a substantial reduction in the number of daily calories consumed by the average American child."
Read the whole report here.
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It’s important to keep sugar, and sugar-sweetened beverage consumption in perspective. As USDA data confirms, sugar actually plays a minor role in excess calories in the American diet since the 1970s. In fact, the majority of additional calories in the average American diet come from fats, oils and starches – not sugars, which contribute only 9%. And, soft drinks comprise a fraction of these calories, contributing an estimated 4%.
Also, as noted here, soft drink intake has been on the decline. Yet, obesity rates have continued to rise. So what’s the answer? Education, not laws and regulation that arbitrarily single out one source of calories, can promote a better balance. To learn more about why targeting sugar is not productive, check out this New York Times article on the subject: http://nyti.ms/10ntOrz.
-American Beverage Association