Per Capita Consumption Drops More Than 26% From 1998 Peak
Regular readers know that I feel strongly about the dangers of soda, both diet and sugared. You can check out my Page: What’s Wrong with Soft Drinks? to learn more about it.
I was pleased to read the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) report that sales are declining.
Americans, eager to reduce their risk of diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and tooth decay are continuing to cut down on their consumption of full-calorie soda, according to new data released by the trade publication Beverage Digest. Based on those data, the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest says that Americans are drinking more than one-fourth less soda than in 1998, when consumption peaked. In fact, Americans are now back to drinking about as much as they did in 1985. CSPI is urging health officials at the local, state, and federal levels of government to enact policies to drive down soda consumption even further, perhaps to levels observed in the 1960s, when soda was an occasional treat served in reasonable portions.
“Drinking nine or 10 teaspoons of sugar makes no sense, and most Americans have wised up to what’s really in a single soda,” said CSPI president Michael F. Jacobson. “The soda industry, which for years has lectured the public about energy balance and moderation, has been marketing excessive consumption, both in terms of frequency and volume. A comprehensive government strategy to drive down consumption further could be a boon to Americans’ health and lower the healthcare costs paid by taxpayers.”
Lawmakers in California are proposing a two-cent-per-ounce health impact fee on sugar-sweetened beverages in that state. In Philadelphia, Mayor Jim Kenney (D) is proposing a three-cent-per-ounce excise tax on sugary drinks to help raise $400 million over five years for universal Pre-K, parks, and other programs. In Congress, Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) has offered legislation that would institute a tax of one-cent per teaspoon of caloric sweetener. CSPI has estimated that a federal excise tax could raise $10 billion a year for prevention programs.
I don’t share the CSPI’s notion of getting the government more involved in affecting what private citizens eat and drink through raising taxes or any other way. This is still a free country. Let’s keep it that way. It seems like we are off to a good start judging from the fall off in sales in the past 20 years.