I can’t even remember the last time I had a full-calorie soda. It’s a time period that can be measured in decades, and it might stretch back into the mid-1980s. At some point I switched to diet sodas and then I pretty much stopped drinking sodas altogether.
Apparently I’m not alone. America is in the midst of a long and significant decline in the consumption of soda generally, and full-calorie soda specifically. The drop in consumption is having the incidental effect of reducing calorie consumption by kids — but we’ve nevertheless still got a serious obesity problem. The decline in people guzzling fizzy soft drinks, without a commensurate decline in obesity issues, suggests that sodas can’t bear the entire blame for our country’s tubbiness troubles.
What are Americans drinking instead of sodas? The article linked above says bottled water sales are jumping, and based on my personal observations I’m guessing that consumption of coffee also has increased. In fact, Americans who used to satisfy their sweet tooth with a Coke may simply have switched to some high-end, caramel-flavored, whipped-cream-topped coffee concoction — which may also explain why obesity rates haven’t tracked the downward path of soda drinking.
I don’t drink either bottled water or high end coffees. I long ago decided that some tap water over ice, with a lemon slice, would do me just fine. It quenches my thirst, cools me down, and has a nice light tartness to it — as well as being cheaper, less fattening, and more environmentally friendly.