What’s that beverage in your hand? Yes, that thing you’re drinking, guzzling and otherwise enjoying. A new Gallup poll says that for 48% of you, it’s probably going to be at least one soda per day, but the rest of you don’t normally drink any. So is the nation’s glass half full or half empty and is there soda in it and if so will Mayor Bloomberg be mad? All important questions.
Well, what we do know is that this is the first time Gallup has even measured daily soda consumption as part of its annual Consumption Habits Poll, and the findings are pretty interesting.
According to the poll, Americans reported drinking at least one glass of soda per day, with 20% of those drinking two or more glasses daily and 28% just sipping on one. Those that drink soda at all drink an average of 2.6 glasses per day. There was no specification of diet or non-diet sodas.
Somewhat surprisingly, although soda has no known health benefits and is often blamed for contributing to our nation’s obesity epidemic and other health problems, the self-reported weight of Americans who drink two or more glasses of soda per day doesn’t differ much from those who don’t drink any.
Around four in 10 of each group says they’re either very or somewhat overweight, with those who drink soda daily but only drink one per day slightly more likely to call themselves overweight than those that drink multiple sodas daily. Heavier soda drinkers might be drinking more diet soda, which could be one reason for that result.
The same poll found that as a nation, our coffee consumption has stayed flat since 1999 — 64% of Americans drink at least one cup of coffee per day, compared to 64% in 1999. This is a bit surprising as chains like Starbucks have grown exponentially in that time span, tempting consumers with fancy coffee drinks and lattes galore.
Gallup concludes that although the U.S. beverage industry has reported a decline in our soda drinking, the majority of soda sales continue to be for sugary options and not diet, which makes the health implications of Americans drinking at least one glass a day pretty significant.