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Quenching Our Thirst for Soda

Quenching Our Thirst for Soda

My father liked to wager bets…with his kids. Granted these were playful bets that rarely put us children on the losing end of the wager. Still, from a child’s perspective, it was good clean fun. One wager my father launched on us one day was this, “I bet you can’t name the most popular breakfast drink in America.” I can’t remember how much money was for the taking but us kids yelled out things like “orange juice,” “milk,” “coffee” and the like. “Nope” he said with a knowing smirk. The answer was (according to my father) soda. Yes, soda. Seems the majority of Americans greet the day (at least back in the ’80s) with a can of Coke, 7UP, Sprite, or the equivalent.

I never really checked up on this little factoid to see whether or not it was accurate, but my senses tell me it probably was (since then, with the advent and popularization of brands like Starbucks, coffee has surpassed soda as the go-to breakfast drink). Now comes news that nearly half of all Americans drink at least a glass of soda daily (48 percent to be exact). According to a Gallup poll, among those who drink any soda, the average daily amount is 2.6 glasses, with 28 percent drinking one glass a day, on average, and 20 percent drinking two or more glasses. That is a significant amount of something that holds no nutritional value or health benefits. Even coffee has antioxidants in it.

This all comes on the heels of NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposed soda ban, which was not all that well received. According to a recent New York Times Report, about 60 precent of NYC residents are opposed to the ban, which would institute a ban on soda servings more than 16-ounces in NYC.

With so much soda streaming down the gullets of average Americans, is there really anyway to stem the tide? Are you surprised by the average soda consumption and can you envision any real, healthy, change to the way Americans drink?

Is the Proposed NYC Soda Ban a Good Thing?
9 Disturbing Side Effects of Soda
America’s Sugar Addiction (Infograhic)

Read more: Drinks, Eating for Health, Following Food, Food, , , , , , ,

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Eric Steinman

Eric Steinman is a freelance writer based in Rhinebeck, NY. He regularly writes about food, music, art, architecture, and culture and is a regular contributor to Bon Appétit among other publications.


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5:24PM PST on Dec 16, 2012

Thank you Eric, for Sharing this!

3:02PM PDT on Sep 26, 2012

Soda is not even thirst-quenching. In fact recent studies show that it contributes to dehydration. So, what is this stuff doing to our kidneys? No wonder there are so many people with various kidney diseases.

6:02AM PDT on Sep 26, 2012

thanks for this... I know...., still, NOTHING beats an ice cold Coke on a hot summer's day....

5:35PM PDT on Sep 11, 2012

I have one soda a day. Used to have four or five so I'm pretty proud of that. I'm not giving up that Coke! Thx for the article.

5:30PM PDT on Sep 11, 2012

For breakfast? Really? I thought the most popular breakfast drink was Ovaltine or Tang!

8:06AM PDT on Aug 28, 2012

Soda is disgusting. It should definitely be banned.

12:12PM PDT on Aug 27, 2012

i like soda but try to limit my consumption of it.

3:01AM PDT on Aug 27, 2012

Sugar is America's #1 drug and we need more articles like this and real life examples to get everyone to understand what's REALLY going on here! My organization, Energy Up! focuses on getting excess sugar OUT of our school systems -- Sugar has NO place in our schools!! Please check out our Sugar Shocktober campaign coming up where we will have THOUSANDS of students taking our pledge to swear off sugary drinks for 5 days!

12:39AM PDT on Aug 27, 2012

Vise ni sama ne znam sta je zdravo a sta ne.

4:34PM PDT on Aug 26, 2012

Charli S, yes people should have the right to choose what they drink but they need to do it with full awareness of what those drinks contain and how it effects their health. Then they can do into it with their eyes open. They should also take full responsibility for the consequences.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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