Soda Companies to Cut Calories by 2025
According to Dr. Howell Wechsler, CEO of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, sugary sodas and fruit drinks account for 6 percent of Americans' daily calorie intake. According to a study conducted just a few years ago using interviews with 43,000 adults and 4,000 adolescents statewide, the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research analyzed the correlation between soft drink consumption and weight. It was found that adults who consumed at least one soda or sugar-sweetened energy drink a day were 27 percent more likely to be overweight or obese and in children, that rate jumped to 60 percent. In fact, it has been estimated that children who consume soda take in more calories (about 55 to 190 per day) than kids who drink fewer sodas and are also likely to be more overweight than their peers.
In 2008, more than one-third (34.9 percent or 78.6 million) of adult Americans were categorized as being obese. Approximately, 17 percent (or 12.7 million) of children and adolescents aged 2 to 19 years were categorized as being obese.
Soda Companies Cutting Calories
Despite many years of some soda companies claiming that there was no link between obesity and soda consumption, the larger companies have agreed to cut calories. By the year 2025, American soda makers will cut beverage calories by 20 percent. Three giants, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo Americas Beverages and Dr. Pepper Snapple group have all promised to aid in the fight against the obesity epidemic that is plaguing the United States.
How Soda Companies Intend to Cut Calories
How will soda makers cut beverage calories? It seems that the decision has been made to shrink the drink sizes and to make healthier options available for consumption. In addition, other efforts will include:
- Strategically locating diet drinks and bottled water in supermarkets so that they occupy the aisle end-caps, are visible in check-out areas, and placed on store shelves that are easily accessible.
- Increasing awareness related to soda caloric intake through promotion on more than 3 million vending machines controlled by various beverage companies, self-serve fountains and on the panels of retail-coolers in convenience stores, restaurants and other locations.
- Development of more and new lower-calorie products.
- Use of incentives that promote purchase of bottled water and diet drinks.
It would seem that the companies are responding to findings from a few years ago in which various studies demonstrated that marketing and environment seemed to drive soda consumption in excessive quantities which was then linked to obesity.
The American Heart Association issued a statement praising the soda industry's commitment, and in particular the companies' agreement to place special focus on specific communities where there has been less access to healthier options.
Source (s): Health Day News, 2014 & CDC, 2014