Nearly Half of Americans Drink Soda Daily
But soda drinkers don't necessarily weigh more than non-soda drinkers, a new Gallup poll on beverage consumption finds.
By Annie Hauser
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WEDNESDAY, July 25, 2012 — After all the news about the health dangers of soda consumption, almost half of all Americans still consume at least one soda each day, Gallup's annual Consumption Habits poll finds. This is Gallup's first measure of soda consumption.
Among soda drinkers, the average daily consumption is 2.6 12-ounce glasses with 28 percent of survey respondents drinking one glass per day. The survey does not specify whether Americans drink more regular or diet soda.
Coffee consumption, however, has remained unchanged since 1999, with two-thirds of all Americans reporting at least one cup per day. Ten percent of survey respondents say they drink four or more cups of joe every day.
Because black coffee has zero calories and no sugar, it seems logical to assume that soda drinkers are heavier than coffee drinkers, but Gallup found that not to be true. Instead, soda drinkers were just as likely as non-soda drinkers to report that they are either very or somewhat overweight. Those who drink one soda per day are lightly more likely to classify themselves as overweight, the survey found, leading researchers to believe that single soda drinkers reach for regular while the heaviest soda consumers drink diet.
Men and women are equally likely to drink coffee while whites are more likely than non-whites to get their caffeine fix through coffee. Middle-aged and older adults are more likely to drink it than the 18 to 34 set. Soda is more common among nonwhites, men, and adults between the ages of 18 and 34.
Soda vs. Coffee: What's the Difference?
For most, the decision to drink coffee or soda undoubtedly comes down to taste and convenience. But when it comes to health, one beverage is a clear winner — though excessive caffeine in any form can be damaging to your health. Here's why you should reach for black coffee over full-calorie soda.
Diabetes. Because of its sugar content, regular soda consumption has longed been linked to an increased risk of diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and obesity. But women who drink four cups of coffee daily are less likely to develop the disease than non-coffee drinkers, a UCLA study found. Coffee's high levels of magnesium and chromium, which may help control blood sugar, is thought to be why.
Stress and emotional health.Forget the Twinkie Defense: For some people, it's soda that makes them act out violently or suffer rapid mood swings. One study of Boston teens even found that heavy soda drinkers were more likely to carry a weapon than non-sugary drink consumers. On the flip side, whiffs of coffee have been shown to ease stress in rats.
Dental health. You know sugary drinks can contribute to cavities, but did you know the acids in soda can also erode tooth enamel? Coffee, however, has a compound called trigonelline that's thought to block cavity-causing germs and the bacteria that damages enamel.
Heart disease. A moderate coffee habit might be the sweet spot for heart-disease prevention, Dutch researchers found. In a study, those who drink two to four cups a day lowered their heart disease risk by 20 percent compared to those who drank more or fewer. Even without soda-related weight gain, soda's sugar puts drinkers at a 20-percent higher risk for cardiovascular disease, a study published in the journalCirculationfound.
Video: Half of Americans Drink Soda Every Day
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