Teen’s sweet spot for soda has fizzled

It used to be that the beverage of choice for American teens was sipping on a bottle of pop.  Those days have taken an about face as a recent government survey revealed teens are turning away from soda and switching instead to bottled water.

In just two years, sugary soda consumption by teenagers fell by almost one third.  This dramatic decline is attributed to public policy efforts cracking down on sales of sugary drinks banned from schools, government agencies, vending machines and the increased sales tax on these beverages.  It is also credited to the extensive research making the connection of sugary drinks promoting weight gain and obesity, diabetes and heart disease. 

It appears teens are embracing the message to take more personal responsibility in regards to their health by becoming more focused on getting and being healthier by ditching soft drinks and consuming more water. 

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted this survey in 2015 with the following results:

·         20 percent of students reported drinking a sugar-sweetened beverage one or more times per day during the previous, down from 27 percent in 2013 and 34 percent in 2007.

·         26 percent of teens said they had not consumed any sugary soda at all in the previous seven days, up from 22 percent in 2013 and about 19 percent in 2007.

·         74 percent of students drank one or more glasses of water per day during the previous week

·         64 percent of students drank two or more glasses of water per day

The bottled water industry has seen significant growth – Beverage Marketing Corporation stated that bottled water consumption grew 120 percent in 15 years between 2000 and 2015 while soft drink consumption fell by 16 percent.

The only concern is that teens may simply be choosing other sugar-sweetened beverages to replace soda – energy drinks, fruit juice, or the sugar-laden coffee drinks teens love.  At this time it is not known if this is the case or not.

Overall, consumption of sugary beverages has fallen throughout the years amongst all Americans.  Since 1998, there’s been a 27 percent per-capita drop in carbonated beverages with a one-third decrease and a 57 percent decline for the soft drink giants Coke and Pepsi, respectively.

Time will tell if consumption of soft drinks continues to decline.  Americans appear to be slowly weaning themselves from their fondness of soft drinks.  With the message that all things sugary is bad for our health, it looks like the next generation might possibly make that transition to where water is the beverage of choice and soft drinks are rarely chosen.