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Liquid Candy: Convincing America to cut back on Soda

Of the many unhealthy foods we consume soda is one of the most ubiquitous and costly. How can we convince others to cut back?

Photo of Kerrin McLaughlin
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We've been talking a lot about all of the unhealthy foods people of all different backgrounds consume and the reasons behind their choices, but what about narrowing the scope by discussing the big, sugary culprit that is soda?

I was reading Alison's post and looking at the images she included when I saw the picture of the Mexican family's weekly food supply. 11 full bottles of liter coke lined the back wall! The got me thinking about the role soda plays in obesity and diabetes in the US. 

Americans on average drink 44 gallons of soda per year. A typical 20 oz. can contains 15 -18 tablespoons of sugar and 240+ calories. Carbonated drinks are a huge source of calorie and sugar intake for Americans and as a result its consumption has directly related to cases of obesity and type 2 diabetes among many other health problems.

Why do so many people drink it? Besides the addictive caffeinated, sugary goodness, soda is ubiquitous across most socioeconomic backgrounds. The most high end supermarket and the local corner grocer alike will have soda. It's cheap. And it's advertised to us vigorously.

Children are the most at risk for suffering the consequences of excessive soda intake. They are much less persuaded by threats of "It's bad for you" or weight consciousness. It tastes good, kids want it. 

My question is, how can we create an effective campaign or technological strategy that will persuade people, particularly children, to drink less soda (and all sugary beverages for that matter), or cut it out completely?

I believe cutting soda out of the American "staple diet" could really make a difference when it comes to obesity and type 2 diabetes. Water is available to everyone and healthy, how can we make drinking water over any calorie filled drink the norm? 

Michelle Obama's "Drink Up" campaign -

Mexico Anti-Soda Campaign Launched To Reduce Obesity


Join the conversation:

Photo of Viviane

How about the simple proposition to only drink water (instead of soft drinks) with your meals? As well as cutting back on the overall sugar intake, it means you can better taste the food.

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