The CDC has a new report out on the consumption of sugar drinks in the U.S. between 2005-2008. And ‘sugar drinks,’ of course, principally refer to sodas. The main conclusions are not surprising:
- Males consume more sugar drinks than females.
- Teenagers and young adults consume more sugar drinks than other age groups.
- Approximately one-half of the U.S. population consumes sugar drinks on any given day.
- Non-Hispanic black children and adolescents consume more sugar drinks in relation to their overall diet than their Mexican-American counterparts. Non-Hispanic black and Mexican-American adults consume more than non-Hispanic white adults.
- Low-income persons consume more sugar drinks in relation to their overall diet than those with higher income.
- Most of the sugar drinks consumed away from home are obtained from stores and not restaurants or schools.
The most striking image, however, is the distribution of calories consumed on a given day:
Roughly half of the population drinks no soda on a given day, so the averages reported for the total population understate the sugar consumption for the subpopulation that actually consumes more than zero soda beverages. You can see that roughly 5% of people consume more than 4 cans-worth of soda per day.
I don’t think I ever went that high, but I certainly used to be on the higher end of the spectrum. I’ve never been overweight, but about a year ago I decided to stop buying Coke from supermarkets to keep in my house. I still buy it out at restaurants sometimes, though, as the report says, most soda consumption is done in the home and not out at restaurants. I like fizzy carbonated beverages, and so while I always disliked the taste of Diet Coke, I was pleased to find that Coke Zero was more than tolerable to me.
I never weigh myself, but I’m pretty sure that the simple step of keeping Coke out of my home is responsible for losing a few pounds. This isn’t surprising, since cutting an average of tens of calories from your daily diet over a sustained time can lead to significant weight loss.