NEW YORK CITY – A new study finds that American consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages has been declining, the New York Times reports. The study, based on a continuing national health survey, found that 60.7% of kids and 50% of adults consumed a sugary drink on any given day in 2014, down sharply from 79.7% of kids and 61.5% of adults in 2003.
The study as published in the journal Obesity related that per capita consumption of all beverages decreased, with kids slurping 321.6 calories daily in 2014, compared with 473.8 daily in 2003, while adults downed 341.1 calories in 2014, compared with 425.0 in 2003.
Most of the reductions came because people gave up sugar-sweetened drinks, coupled with fewer times of drinking sugar-sweetened drinks among those who still drank them. For kids between the ages of 2 and 11, milk topped the list of favorite drinks, while teens and adults still had most of their beverage calories from sweetened beverages, including soft drinks. Coffee and tea consumption stayed at the same levels as did alcohol consumption.
Across all ages, drinking water accelerated. Sara N. Bleich, a professor of public health policy at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and lead author of the new study, attributed that to soft drink consumers changing to water. “Even though we’re seeing declines,” she said, “consumption is still highest among blacks, Hispanics and adolescents, and these groups are at higher risk for obesity.”