The hard work of health advocates is paying off and showing real progress in changing norms. What’s the evidence? Coca Cola's quarterly sales just fell four percent amid growing health concerns about sugary drinks. Industry tracker Beverage Digest reported soda consumption hit a 30-year low in 2015. Total volume declined 1.2% in 2015, an acceleration from the 0.9% drop in 2014. The multiyear soda slump had Americans consuming 1.5 billion fewer cases than in 2004.
The good news is tempered by the fact that there is still a great deal of work to be done in reducing total consumption of sugary drinks. Even as soda consumption drops, sales have risen for products such as fruit drinks, energy drinks and sports beverages, which also are high in sugar. And as consumption drops among those who are wealthier and white, low-income and people of color continue to drink more soda, widening the health disparities between them. Meanwhile, the beverage industry fights policy efforts to discourage customers from consuming sugary drinks and spends billions of dollars to market products that have been shown to harm health.
Let’s keep making progress on soda in 2016 and reduce sugar consumption from other beverages as well. We have resources to help make it happen and look forward to sharing new ones with you soon.