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?