I was born in a simpler time. Back then, soda pop was an occasional treat, not an everyday (or twice a day) habit. In 1952, Americans on average drank 11.5 gallons of carbonated, caloric soft drinks per year. I doubt that I personally accounted for any of 1,786,100,000 gallons of cola, root beer, red pop, etc., produced and consumed in the U.S. that year, but a decade later, when per capita availability had increased to 14.5 gallons per year, I was doing my part.
I continued drinking my share of pop (as we call it in Michigan) for the next few decades, until the early 2000s when I started shirking my duty to the American beverage industry.
In the last few years before adopting a low-carb diet, I cut my consumption of pop by half or more. Now, of course, I avoid caloric pop altogether, and rarely drink the diet version, either, for reasons stated in an earlier post.
As the above bar chart shows, Americans in general have reduced their demand for caloric soft drinks in recent years, though by a small percentage. Many have turned to other caloric beverages, such as fruit juice and sports drinks. Swigging their calories is especially popular among the young.
During my lifetime, another upward trend (one yet to peak) has been in the percentage of the U.S. population afflicted with diabetes. That percentage has gone up more than six times, as the line graph below from the CDC illustrates.
Am I suggesting that the increased consumption of caloric drinks, especially carbonated soft drinks, caused the alarming increase in diabetes cases? No, of course not! As the cigarette manufacturers argued for years, cause is hard to prove when there are multiple variables.
Correlation isn’t the same as causation.
Nevertheless, I’m not drinking any pop.