It's no secret that soda is killing you one 20-ounce bottle at a time, whether your preferred beverage comes packed with sugar, aspartame, or (ugh) stevia. But even with all the health warnings, failed soda bans/taxes, and Parks & Recreation episodes, Big Soda's still been pocketing dollar after dollar, until now—a new report in the Times claims the soda industry seems to be starting to fizzle.
"[S]oda companies are losing the war," the Times crowed today, noting that despite failed policies like Mayor Bloomberg's soda ban and soda taxes in Philadelphia and San Francisco, sales of full-calorie sodas have fallen by over 25 percent in the last two decades. Americans are taking heed of health initiatives pointing out that sweetened beverages are, among other things, major contributors to weight gain and obesity, and are starting to swap out Coke for water—the average American buys about 35 gallons of water per year and 40 gallons of soda, as opposed to 15 gallons of water and 50 gallons of soda in 2000.
The best news (for humanity, not for soda companies) is that American kids are drinking far less soda than they used to. A recent study noted that children's daily soda consumption dropped by as much as 79 percent from 2004 to 2012—some of this is credited to the removal of soda vending machines in public schools and other government buildings. In Philadelphia, where Big Soda managed to kill a soda tax in 2010, health initiatives have knocked soda consumption down so much that 24 percent fewer teens were drinking the bubbly stuff in 2013 than they were in 2007, which correlated with a decline in childhood obesity.
Indeed, the Times piece likens soda to the "new tobacco," and notes that the fewer Americans grow up drinking soda, the fewer will choose it as a beverage in adulthood. Which is good news, indeed, considering even diet soda might not be all that good for you. At least booze gets you drunk!