Kids are falling out of love with soda, CDC report reveals

  • US high school students have cut down their daily soda drinking by one-third
  • The percentage decreased from 33.8% in 2007 to 20.4% in 2015, the CDC says
  • Researchers also found that teens’ daily intake of milk and fruit juice has fallen
  • Despite the decline, they say more needs to be done for the trend to continue

American teenagers are increasingly shunning fizzy drinks, a new report says.

Soda drinking among high school students in the US dropped by over one-third from 2007 to 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Meanwhile there has been a uptick in the number of American children drinking diet soda.  

Researchers say the new figures are encouraging since sugar-sweetened beverages are one of the largest contributors of added sugars to adolescents’ diets.

However, they noted that the overall prevalence of Americans drinking sugary drinks, at any age, remains high and more approaches need to be put into place for the downward trend to continue.

According to data collected from the CDC, the percentage of daily soda drinkers in high school fell from 33.8 percent in 2007 to 20.4 percent in 2015

According to data collected from the CDC, the percentage of daily soda drinkers in high school fell from 33.8 percent in 2007 to 20.4 percent in 2015

The report, as part of the CDC’s weekly Morbidity and Mortality report, took its data from the YRBS – a US survey that provides representative data on health behaviors among students in grades nine to 12.

The survey asked the high schoolers how many times that had drunk ‘a can, bottle, or glass of soda or pop, such as Coke, Pepsi, or Sprite’ and not counting diet drinks.

Researchers found that the number of students drinking soda daily had significantly fallen from 33.8 percent in 2007 to 20.4 percent in 2015. 

Still, more can be done to help kids avoid the empty calories of sweetened sodas and drinks, the CDC team said. 

The group, led by researcher Cailtin Merlo, wrote in its report that despite declines in soda consumption: ‘Intake of other sugar-sweetened beverages, including energy drinks and sports drinks, are increasing.

‘And overall consumption of all sugar-sweetened beverages, such as soda, fruit drinks and sweetened coffees and teas, remains high.’

Beverages contribute approximately 20 percent of calories to the diets of children and adolescents, and can contain important nutrients such as vitamins C and D.

However, drinks can also contribute to an excess consumption of added sugars and calories.

Last year, the American Heart Association recommended that children consume no more than six teaspoons of sugar, or 100 calories, per day.


The American Heart Association, in 2016, released its recommendation that children consume no more than six teaspoons of sugar per day.

Many sodas contain twice that amount in a single can.

Red Bull: 6.9 tsp

Sprite: 8.25 tsp  

Pepsi: 8.75 tsp  

Coca Cola: 9.25 tsp 

Mountain Dew: 11.5 tsp

Old Jamaica Ginger Beer: 13 tsp 

One method of cutting out added sugars comes from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015–2020, which recommends that people choose beverages with no added sugars, such as water, in place of sugar-sweetened beverages. 

Aside from the noticeable drop in daily soda drinking, the team found that teens’ daily intake of milk also declined (from about 44 percent to 37 percent), as did 100 percent fruit juice intake (27 percent to 21.6 percent).

The team noted that it wasn’t clear what teenagers were drinking as replacements for these beverages. 

The decline in soda intake was seen across all subgroups – boys and girls, all races and ethnicities, and all socioeconomic levels.

Merlo’s group suggested that a number of initiatives might be responsible for helping kids kick the soda habit such as the new federal Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards.

Implemented at the beginning of the 2014–2015 school year, it eliminated the selling of non-diet soda in high schools. 

More can still be done, the team said, such as making sure students have access ‘to free drinking water by having water fountains, dispensers, and hydration stations throughout the school, and allowing students to have water bottles in class.’

Experts estimated that cutting soda consumption by just 20 percent could save up to $ 23.6 billion in healthcare costs over 10 years.  

Health | Mail Online