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Medicine News Science

The Decline of 'Big Soda': Is Drinking Soda the New Smoking? 570

HughPickens.com writes: Margot Sanger-Katz reports in the NYT that soda consumption is experiencing a serious and sustained decline as sales of full-calorie soda in the United States have plummeted by more than 25 percent over the past twenty years. Nearly two-thirds of Americans say they are actively trying to avoid the drinks that have been a mainstay of American culture but bottled water is now on track to overtake soda as the largest beverage category in two years. The changing patterns of soda drinking appear to come thanks, in part, to a loud campaign to eradicate sodas. School cafeterias and vending machines no longer contain regular sodas. Many workplaces and government offices have similarly prohibited their sale.

For many public health advocates, soda has become the new tobacco — a toxic product to be banned, taxed and stigmatized. "There will always be soda, but I think the era of it being acceptable for kids to drink soda all day long is passing, slowly," says Marion Nestle. "In some socioeconomic groups, it's over." Soda represents nearly 25% of the U.S. beverage market and its massive scale have guaranteed profit margins for decades. Historically, beverage preferences are set in adolescence, the first time that most people begin choosing and buying a favorite brand. But the declines in soda drinking appear to be sharpest among young Americans. "Kids these days are growing up with all of these other options, and there are some parents who say, 'I really want my kids to drink juice or a bottled water,' " says Gary A. Hemphill. "If kids grow up without carbonated soft drinks, the likelihood that they are going to grow up and, when they are 35, start drinking is very low."
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The Decline of 'Big Soda': Is Drinking Soda the New Smoking?

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  • GOOD GRIEF! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Frosty Piss ( 770223 ) * on Saturday October 03, 2015 @06:59PM (#50653451)

    bottled water is now on track to overtake soda as the largest beverage category in two years.

    Everyone should note that for the most part bottled water is just "tap water" that has been filtered. At $1 plus a bottle (plus the almost always not recycled plastic bottle), why don't people just get a Britta filter for home or office? Filtered tap water is now more expensive than soda!

    • Re:GOOD GRIEF! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ZorinLynx ( 31751 ) on Saturday October 03, 2015 @07:02PM (#50653461) Homepage

      Not to mention it's bottled by the same companies like Pepsico and Coke that make soda. So if people keep drinking water these companies have nothing to worry about.

      We should make them worry and stop buying bottled water. Not only are you flushing your money down the toilet, but getting all those empty bottles out of our waste stream would be a great benefit for all of us.

      • Re: GOOD GRIEF! (Score:5, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 03, 2015 @08:19PM (#50653811)

        And those companies pay about the same amount per megalitre of water as you do per bottle!

        Source:
        http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/water-crisis-were-giving-the-stuff-away/2006/11/03/1162340050938.html

        However, in Australia there is a push to ban bottled water too, because it's just tap water and the bottles are harmful. The alternative is paying more for an empty bottle (which you reuse) and basically nothing for water refills.
        Some municipalities have already banned the sale of bottled water.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Won't be long before all the Envirowackos and Health Freaks have people drinking out of ditches.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by jellomizer ( 103300 )

            There are fringe groups of Environmentalists and Health Nuts, who seem to forget or not realize the advancements we have made over the last couple thousand years in providing clean and much more healthy drinking water. There is a reason why our forefathers drank a lot of beer and hard cider, it was healthier then drinking water. The alcohol which damaged their livers and took decades off their lifespan, was a better option of drinking fresh water which could have microbes that could kill you the next we

        • by myowntrueself ( 607117 ) on Saturday October 03, 2015 @10:32PM (#50654279)

          And those companies pay about the same amount per megalitre of water as you do per bottle!

          Source:
          http://www.theage.com.au/news/... [theage.com.au]

          However, in Australia there is a push to ban bottled water too, because it's just tap water and the bottles are harmful. The alternative is paying more for an empty bottle (which you reuse) and basically nothing for water refills.
          Some municipalities have already banned the sale of bottled water.

          Reminds me of that Mario brothers movie, where their van has overheated and one is coming out of a shop with armfuls of bottled water because the shopkeeper had claimed not to have a tap...

        • And those companies pay about the same amount per megalitre of water as you do per bottle!

          Yep. Is there a single reason why soda companies would WANT people to keep on drinking soda? Soda has water+ingredients. Ingredients cost money.

          I wouldn't be surprised if it's really the soda companies paying for all the 'Sugar is poison!' stories.

          • "Is there a single reason why soda companies would WANT people to keep on drinking soda?"

            Well, in fact, there is: soda allows for stronger market recognition. It is obvious for the customer which one is Coca-Cola and which one is 7-Up therefore allowing marketing departments to deploy their fidelity thingies. But then, it's much more difficult to set apart Coca-Cola bottled water from Nestle bottled water and the entry barrier for new competitors becomes also lower. These are things you don't like when yo

      • Re:GOOD GRIEF! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by unixisc ( 2429386 ) on Saturday October 03, 2015 @08:38PM (#50653891)

        So you are one of those activists who'd like to see more successful companies go under, as opposed to selling alternative products to their traditional cash cows. So an RJR Nabisco or Phillip Morris should preferably have gone under, instead of selling things other than tobacco that would have left them in the black? And same for Coke & Pepsi?

        Bottled water is a legal product. May be 100% profit, but still legal. I never buy it, and somewhat pity morons who decide to stuff their fridges w/ it instead of using a Britta tap filter or a pitcher. Since I rarely drink water - always preferring either coke or lemonade or an alcoholic beverage, I don't have it. But that's their decision. Who exactly died and annointed you Caliph?

        • Re: GOOD GRIEF! (Score:3, Informative)

          by SydShamino ( 547793 )

          Bottled water sales trod upon the commons with regard to waste recycling or disposal. The number of one-time-use bottles being discarded "incorrectly" (meaning: not where they will be recycled) is staggering, as is the number that end up in the environment like the ocean.

          You see a successfully company being stomped out by liberals, liberals see a company taking from a common resource without paying for it.

      • by Yaztromo ( 655250 ) on Saturday October 03, 2015 @08:44PM (#50653921) Homepage Journal

        Not only are you flushing your money down the toilet, but getting all those empty bottles out of our waste stream would be a great benefit for all of us.

        I'm rich enough that I only fill my toilet tanks with the finest imported bottled water. It's only the best for my effluence!

        Yaz

        • by FatdogHaiku ( 978357 ) on Saturday October 03, 2015 @09:32PM (#50654111)

          Not only are you flushing your money down the toilet, but getting all those empty bottles out of our waste stream would be a great benefit for all of us.

          I'm rich enough that I only fill my toilet tanks with the finest imported bottled water. It's only the best for my effluence!

          Yaz

          Re-bottle that and you could sell it as "Affluent Effluent" brand liquid fertilizer!

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I also don't see energy drinks included in this. Energy drinks are tracked as their own category from soda and other soft drinks. The energy drink market has still been growing. I know I've seen more people with redbull, monster and other energy drinks, many of those replaced the mountain dew or other soda that used to be there.

        Pepsi and Coke have taken stakes in many of the energy drink companies. I don't think anyone has to worry one bit about 'Big Soda' disappearing any time soon.

    • Re:GOOD GRIEF! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ArmoredDragon ( 3450605 ) on Saturday October 03, 2015 @07:06PM (#50653481)

      Along with that, I think somebody should point out that fuit juice is almost as bad as soda. Sure it contains a small dose of nourishment absent from soda, but the amount of sugar in it just isn't worth it and can contribute to obesidy, fatty liver, cholesterol, and other problems just as bad as soda does.

      • Re:GOOD GRIEF! (Score:5, Informative)

        by AthanasiusKircher ( 1333179 ) on Saturday October 03, 2015 @07:17PM (#50653559)

        Along with that, I think somebody should point out that fuit juice is almost as bad as soda. Sure it contains a small dose of nourishment absent from soda, but the amount of sugar in it just isn't worth it and can contribute to obesidy, fatty liver, cholesterol, and other problems just as bad as soda does.

        This is a critical part of the discussion too. Just because it says "100% juice" doesn't mean it's very good for you. A lot of "100% juice" involves blends of the sweetest possible fruit juices with the highest sugar content. (This is often most true of juices that have been highly advertised for some sort of "antioxidant" properties or whatever -- that cranberry or pomegranate "100% juice" drink is probably mostly a bunch of super-sweet grape or apple juice or whatever with a sprinkling of the juice that's too sour for most people to find palatable.)

        If you want to eat fruit, well -- eat fruit. The fiber is generally good for digestion and for regulating metabolic pathways, rather than just getting a glass full of colored sugar water with a couple vitamins in it. Also -- guess what? If you drink less sweet drinks (including fruit juice), you'll often crave less sweet drinks in the future... which probably means you'll consume fewer nearly-empty calories in drinks.

        • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Saturday October 03, 2015 @07:38PM (#50653645)

          Most fruit juices have a lot of sugar. Fruit contains a lot of fructose, water, and fiber. So squeeze out the water that contains the fructose, the fiber gets left behind, and you have something that is by volume and weight a tons of sugar.

          Apple juice is a good example. If you go and have a look at the Simply Apple stuff at a grocer you can see easily. It really is 100% pure apple juice. They don't add any sweetener or anything else, they just squeeze the juice out of apple and bottle that shit up... and it is as high calorie as soda. 180 calories per 12 oz (355ml). For comparison Pepsi is 150 and Mountain Dew is 170.

          I love apple juice, it tastes fantastic, but you can't fool yourself in to thinking that because it is juice it is magically good.

          • by asylumx ( 881307 )

            the fiber gets left behind

            To me, this is the important point. Not only does it have all the negatives of most sodas, but it also does not have the benefit that eating the fruit does even though they advertise it as such. Glad to see this thread on this topic because people like to blame sodas but they aren't really any different than most of the options touted as "healthy."

            • They are a little different in that they have about 9.5% simple sugars by volume, whereas soda is somewhere around 15%+ (depends on the soda.) But still, the calories mostly just come from the simple sugars, and if you were to consume the same amount of calories found in juice as you would otherwise get from a smaller amount of soda (which it seems that this is what most people do) then there's no effective difference.

        • by dwywit ( 1109409 )

          It's also possible to read the ingredients list and make your decision that way. You don't have to do it every time, just identify the brands that say things like "no added sugar", "no added flavour" (Why the hell do they feel the need to add flavour to OJ?), "unfiltered" or "with pulp", and try to avoid the ones that use "reconstituted" juice.

          It's important to exercise your options as a consumer - if you keep choosing added flavour/added sugar etc, they'll keep making it.

          A small grocery shop in town has ju

          • Re:GOOD GRIEF! (Score:5, Interesting)

            by AthanasiusKircher ( 1333179 ) on Saturday October 03, 2015 @07:50PM (#50653677)

            It's also possible to read the ingredients list and make your decision that way. You don't have to do it every time, just identify the brands that say things like "no added sugar"...

            Actually NO -- that no longer works. Companies who try to sell you "healthy" foods want to lie to you.

            There are all sorts of things that are basically pure sugar that many companies are trying to add into products with "no added sugar."

            One of my favorite examples is Chobani's "natural" greek yogurt, with "no added sugar," but which contains large amounts of "evaporated cane juice" (which is... well, a very slightly different processing method to make SUGAR). There have been class action lawsuits [huffingtonpost.com] over this, but judges have thrown them out.

            I mean, it's "juice," so "evaporated cane juice" must be good for you, right? Also on the list of fun ways for companies to say "sugar" in another way on "natural, no sugar added" foods -- "brown rice syrup" or "honey" or "agave nectar." Wow, it's made with "brown rice" -- must be good for me! "Nectar" -- wow, that's like a good fruit juice, no?

            No matter that these things are basically 97%+ sugar and the only reason they are added to anything is as a substitute for sugar so that businesses can claim "no sugar added" on their labels and sound "healthier."

            Just to be clear -- most flavors of Chobani yogurt contains more sugar per ounce than Coca Cola. That's what a "no sugar added" [foodnavigator-usa.com] label gets you these days.

            • Oh, it still works just fine for people who read the labels. If you don't understand what evaporated cane juice is, then don't buy products that contain it. Simple simple. If you don't know what syrup is, or if it is something that you eat, then be on the safe side and don't eat it. Easy as home-baked apple pie. Which is either brain-dead simple, or unattainably hard, depending on if you can comprehend the recipe and the ordering of the steps.

              • One quirk of the labels is that they just show what was added to it and not necessarily what's in it. For example, if you add a blueberries to your recipe, you'll put "blueberries" on the label, but in reality there's a bit more to it than that. See this:

                http://static1.businessinsider... [businessinsider.com]

                And by the way, if somebody ever tells you to never consume something that has a chemical name you can't pronounce, they're full of shit and they're basically subscribing to the recent "food with integrity" religion that has

                • Re:GOOD GRIEF! (Score:5, Informative)

                  by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Saturday October 03, 2015 @09:49PM (#50654163) Journal

                  It's this same mistaken belief that tells you "high fructose corn syrup" is bad, when in reality it's because somebody is afraid of the name.

                  What do those goddamned egghead Princeton researchers know, amirite?

                  https://www.princeton.edu/main... [princeton.edu]

                  Also, those liberal smartypants over at the Journal of Clinical Investigation

                  More damning evidence against fructose emerged just last week in an important study from the Journal of Clinical Investigation. Researchers in California recruited volunteers to drink a glass of Kool-Aid with every meal for 10 weeks; half took their soft drinks sweetened with fructose, the other half with glucose. By the end of the study period, both groups had put on weight, but the subjects getting fructose had more visceral fat—the kind that adheres to our organs and is associated with heightened risk for atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes. The fructose group also showed higher levels of LDL cholesterol and lower insulin sensitivity.

                  Stupid, stupid scientists.

                  I mean, forget about the fact that High Fructose Corn Syrup tastes like ass compared to actual cane sugar. I need my goddamn Big Gulp and I need it now!

              • Oh, it still works just fine for people who read the labels.

                Well, I was responding to GP, who said you could just look at a label for "no added sugar" -- and my specific response was that using that marker does NOT "work just fine" if your intention is to avoid foods or drinks with significant amounts of added sugar.

                If you don't understand what evaporated cane juice is, then don't buy products that contain it. Simple simple. If you don't know what syrup is, or if it is something that you eat, then be on the safe side and don't eat it.

                Absolutely -- and with that I wholeheartedly agree. I don't buy any products that contain ingredients which I'm unfamiliar with. Then again, I have a strong science background and understand quite a bit about chemistry, so I can decipher more food addi

          • It's also possible to read the ingredients list and make your decision that way. You don't have to do it every time, just identify the brands that say things like "no added sugar", "no added flavour" (Why the hell do they feel the need to add flavour to OJ?), "unfiltered" or "with pulp", and try to avoid the ones that use "reconstituted" juice.

            Or buy a decent juicer and some fresh fruit. You'll save money in the long run and it tastes a hell of a lot better.

            Plus, you can use the pulp in baking cakes and st

        • It turns out that if you take fruit juice, filter out all of the colors and flavors, then evaporate a bunch of the water, you end up with water with a sugar concentration similar to what you find in soda, except that product labeling laws allow you to sell it as "100% juice".

          • 100% juice implies that none of the colors or flavors are added. But since it comes directly from a fruit, it's absolutely truthful and not misleading to call it 'juice'. If someone can't tell from the sweetness of a pineapple or orange juice that it has sugar, then one is a certifiable moron!
      • by Rei ( 128717 ) on Saturday October 03, 2015 @07:20PM (#50653569) Homepage

        I like my fruit juice pulpy. With enough pulp that you can hold it in your hand without your hand getting damp, and consume it by taking bites out of it.

    • It's often filtered, carbonated and flavored with various fruit flavors, which by the way usually contain small amounts of sugar - something to be aware of if you're on a strict diet. The only thing it's missing is caffeine. I'm sure they'll get around to that if there is sufficient demand for it.

      I quit my Coca Cola habit about 12 years ago and haven't looked back.

    • To put things into perspective, that filtered bottle of tap water is more expensive than gasoline...by a fairly wide margin.

    • People generally pay less than $1 for a bottle of water. They get it at the grovery store where it's ten to twenty cents, not at 7-11.

    • by mlts ( 1038732 )

      What I have wondered about is something plain and simple:

      Canned water. Yes, cans are not perfect, but they are completely recyclable, and can store water indefinitely. Pretty much what Anheuser Busch did for a day for Texas flood victims, but a constant product [1].

      Costs per item would be cheaper than soda water, as all that is needed is filtered tap water.

      For an added bonus, add a 5-10 cent deposit onto each can. That will pretty much ensure they come back.

      [1]: One could always make a joke about it not

      • They sell canned water at whatever store the local survivalists are shopping at. In my area it is usually a "military surplus store" that is mostly civilian survivalist gear. In the Olden Days they used to make lots of canned water to fill the government bomb shelters built into school basements. If you see a public building that still has a civil defense sign, it might have some 50+ year old canned water in the basement.

        Cans are way more expensive than plastic though. And yes they can be recycled; at a hig

    • by jonwil ( 467024 )

      The other factor is that a lot of the bottled water brands (at least here in Australia) are made by the same companies (such as Coca-Cola) who make the sodas.

    • Re:GOOD GRIEF! (Score:4, Informative)

      by The Grim Reefer ( 1162755 ) on Saturday October 03, 2015 @08:07PM (#50653741)

      Everyone should note that for the most part bottled water is just "tap water" that has been filtered. At $1 plus a bottle (plus the almost always not recycled plastic bottle), why don't people just get a Britta filter for home or office? Filtered tap water is now more expensive than soda!

      I'm happy to see you have a slightly better understanding than most of the people I hear complaining about this. I couldn't tell you how many times I've heard that brands like Dasani, Aquafinia, and Smartwater are "just tap water". That's akin to someone saying, "why are you putting gasoline in your car when you can buy a barrel of crude oil for so much less?".

      Now that being said, a Brita filter is simply carbon filtration. The brands I mentioned, and many others, are filtered through multistage reverse osmosis units. Typically they start with a 10 micron fiber filter. Then a 5 micron carbon filter, which is probably about what a Britta filter is. The next stage is a 1 micron carbon filter, then through the RO membrane. And usually a final carbon filter. A really effective system with decent source water can get the total dissolved solids (TDS) down to 1 to 10 PPM. The feed water on my system at home is between 400 and 500 ppm, depending on the time of year. Usually the post RO water is in the 5 to 10 ppm range. I run that through a two stage dionization filter that takes it down to a TDS of 0 ppm. I used to keep saltwater invertebrates, so I needed a good filter to mix with salt. Since my tap water was so poor, I started drinking the filtered water and find most water with a TDS above 100 ppm to be pretty nasty tasting. Most of the filtered brands mix in some minerals and usually the TDS is in the 25 ppm range. I'll buy RO filtered water when I'm away from home, but use filtered water for the most part.

      I'm not sure what the cost difference is for bottled water, but the fiber and three carbon filters on my system need to be changed every 6 to 12 months and the RO membrane every 4 to 5 years. The filters are $25 for all of them and a the RO membrane is $45. I used to recharge the DI resins, but they're $40 for five lbs. So I don't have to play with muriatic acid and lye any longer. There's also the cost of waste water. In the winter months, when the feed water is cold, the RO membrane rejects about 2 gallons of water for every gallon that passes through. When the feed water is warmer, it will reject more.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      You don't need to filter it. Tap water is drinkable as is. Seeing people buying cases of bottled water makes me cringe/laugh.
    • Re:GOOD GRIEF! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dskoll ( 99328 ) on Saturday October 03, 2015 @10:57PM (#50654373) Homepage

      Yes, bottled water is a real WTF. For people who live in first-world countries with proper sanitation and water treatment, it makes no sense whatsoever to buy bottled water. Plus all those plastic bottles are terrible for the environment.

    • by nitehawk214 ( 222219 ) on Sunday October 04, 2015 @01:06AM (#50654677)

      I only drink bottled water form California. That my drink means someone else must go without makes it taste that much more refreshing.

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Saturday October 03, 2015 @07:02PM (#50653463) Journal
    Now they are bottling municipal water supply and selling it at the same price as soda. No need to guard recipes, no need to worry about making concentrates... Their profit margin has increased despite the decrease in soda consumption.
    • Well no, the beverage industry likely doesn't think of it the same way. If you have a proprietary recipe, then you're the only source of that drink, which means you can charge more for it and/or profit the most from it. Meanwhile just anybody can make bottled water, so it's not exactly lucrative.

      • They're selling the base material for soda (filtered tap water, requiring only bottling) for more than they sell the exclusive brands, and they sell more units of them too. I guarantee you it's plenty lucrative.
  • by Crashmarik ( 635988 ) on Saturday October 03, 2015 @07:04PM (#50653471)

    When you pry it from my cold dead hands.

    • You know that:
      1. Caffeine is available from other sources.
      2. If you don't take any caffeine, you are just as alert as a frequent caffeine user (after some acclimatization to the low/no caffeine diet). In fact, you average leverl of alertness will be higher than the frequent caffeine ingestor.

      All yo are doing with your jolt Cola is wasting money.

      • In return for what is for him a pleasurable experience. Which is worth every bit of what he's paying for it
  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Saturday October 03, 2015 @07:06PM (#50653487) Journal
    ... the trunks of police cars. According to widely circulated "facts" about cola one thing I still remember is, "Every police car in America has a two liter bottle of coke in their trunks. It is the best thing to dissolve blood stains off asphalt" and "put a chicken bone into a bottle of coke, and it will dissolve completely in six days"
    • ... the trunks of police cars. According to widely circulated "facts" about cola one thing I still remember is, "Every police car in America has a two liter bottle of coke in their trunks. It is the best thing to dissolve blood stains off asphalt" and "put a chicken bone into a bottle of coke, and it will dissolve completely in six days"

      I doubt Big Soda is excited over the notion of trunk sales for the sole purpose of crime scene cleanup (rebranded as "187 juice"), or chicken voodoo.

      Hey look on the bright side, at least we haven't caught cops masturbating with it.

      (The soda I mean, not the chicken.)

  • "There will always be soda, but I think the era of it being acceptable for kids to drink soda all day long is passing, slowly," says Marion Nestle.

    Hmmm, last name Nestle... does she by any chance have a bias toward chocolately drinks?

    • Hmmm, last name Nestle... does she by any chance have a bias toward chocolately drinks?

      Make mine Ovaltine, for the malt sweetening

  • by Tehrasha ( 624164 ) on Saturday October 03, 2015 @07:15PM (#50653543) Homepage
    I am happy as long at keeps people from spitting half swallowed soda in my face at meal times and other social gatherings.
    • I am happy as long at keeps people from spitting half swallowed soda in my face at meal times and other social gatherings.

      You're not analyzing this correctly. The analog to "second-hand smoke" is obviously second-hand carbonation, a noxious brew of gases emitted from the belching guts of stinky soda drinkers.

      Pretty soon there will be lawsuits from waitresses and bartenders around the globe, complaining about how working in such a noxious environment of belching carbon dioxide will harm their health....

      Oh wait, NO THERE WON'T -- because selling you a soda for $3 with your meal that probably costs the restaurant 5 cents in

  • by darkain ( 749283 ) on Saturday October 03, 2015 @07:16PM (#50653553) Homepage

    In other news, Energy Drink sales are surging with the younger crowds!

    • Re:Energy Drinks (Score:4, Informative)

      by MacDork ( 560499 ) on Saturday October 03, 2015 @07:29PM (#50653615) Journal

      Yes, this. energy drink [dailyfinance.com] and Starbucks. People aren't drinking fewer caffeinated beverages, they're generally drinking stronger ones. Whether it's carbonated or not doesn't really matter.

      My favorite commercial of course, is 5-hour energy. "Get five hours of energy with only 4 calories!" I got a news flash for those guys... calories == energy. No calories means it's a drug, not energy. I wonder if I could sue them for blatantly false advertisements?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 03, 2015 @07:27PM (#50653609)

    When people drink soda, they don't blow toxic and disgusting smelling fumes into people's walkways, they don't leave butts all over the ground, and they don't return from a smoke break smelling like an ashtray.

    Chuck, I'm going with, "No, drinking soda isn't the new smoking."

    • by narcc ( 412956 )

      Ever been around a heavy soda drinker? It's pretty gross. It's not just the sticky bottles and cans they scatter all over, or even the sticky rings they slosh over every flat surface. A little education could bring that down to an acceptable level. Nothing, sadly, can be done about the weird smell that the leave on whatever they sit on. It's like a nasty fart smell that doesn't go away. I've had to wipe down my chair with bleach wipes after one of those obnoxious sugar guzzlers abused it before I could

    • by Tom ( 822 ) on Sunday October 04, 2015 @06:50AM (#50655349) Homepage Journal

      This.

      I'm a militant anti-smoker. I hate it, I avoid places that still allow smoking, and if they do so in break of current anti-smoking legislation, I bring them to the attention of authorities. I've never had a smoking GF and crossed off many potential candidates from the list because of their addiction.

      All that said, you can smoke all you want, for all I care, and slowly kill yourself, if you find a way to do it without affecting anyone else who didn't consent to being gassed.

      Drinking soda might be unhealthy, but it's not smelly, it doesn't turn people into nervous wrecks if they haven't had one for a day and it doesn't force itself on people around you. I can't tell if someone drank a coke in a room when I come in one hour later. I can tell if someone smoked in their car even if they stopped half a year ago and gave it a very solid cleansing. I can smell if one person is smoking somewhere in the same room in a public space. If you know anything about biology, you understand that if you can smell it, it means toxic levels are reached and the stink is your bodies way of telling you to get the hell out of there.

      Drinking soda isn't the "new smoking". The two things are not even on the same level.

  • by robi5 ( 1261542 ) on Saturday October 03, 2015 @07:31PM (#50653623)

    This language is being hyperboled away as we speak; the meaning of words are inflated away. A 25% decrease over 20 years? That's an annual decrease of a measly 1.1%! What's the word then to use for what happened to the Volkswagen stock?

    Nah, the expression to be used would be: 'slowly eroding, culminating in a 25% decrease over the past 20 years that some observers[who?] consider significant.'

  • I heard sitting at your desk instead of doing a standing desk is the new smoking.

  • ...but I drink club soda, all the bubbles, none of the sugar, acid or caffeine.

    • Carbonic acid forms in carbonated water. Your body creates its own carbonic acid to transport carbon dioxide through your bloodstream and to your lungs, where it is reacted back to gaseous CO2 and Hydrogen. Adding more of that to your system probably isn't good; and that's the more immediate issue with soda consumption.
      • That's fine, but I'd be really surprised if the phosphoric acid that's in Coke appears in club soda.

        • It's still not known whether phosphoric acid ingestion actually causes any problems. It could well aid digestion, but nobody has done a credible study either way. In any case, phosphoric acid travels through your digestive tract and exits your body along with the rest of your waste.

          Carbonic acid, on the other hand... Your body expels *that* in the form of CO2 and H2 before expelling the CO2 it creates through its own means, leading to acidification of the blood.

          Soda may or may not be worse, but you're n
    • I cant find it affordably priced in the west (Vegas, San Jose, Phoenix). In Chicago burbs I'd find flavoured soda (no sugar, no sodium) in raspberry, orange, lemon, lime for under 90 cents per 2 liter bottle. All I can find are 1L over $1.25 and usually artificially sweetened (aspartame gives me migraine headaches that last for hours). Hell, I cant even find the more expensive Canfields soda waters on Froogle
  • by Overzeetop ( 214511 ) on Saturday October 03, 2015 @07:58PM (#50653711) Journal

    I just finished installing a 6 head soft drink fountain dispenser next to the playroom. It's gonna be carbonated drinks as far as the eye can see.

  • by rossdee ( 243626 )

    I don't drink water, I drink a mixture of 50% pop (Mt Dew, Mello Yello or sun drop) and 50% Gator Ade (Lemon-Lime)

  • Coca Cola (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PPH ( 736903 ) on Saturday October 03, 2015 @08:18PM (#50653801)

    Fructose sweetener. Forget it.

    Switch back to cane sugar. Fuck the sugar cartel. Throw them all in prison.

  • Since no one else has mentioned it.
    Most sodas are better flat than they are fizzy. Imho.

  • by kheldan ( 1460303 ) on Saturday October 03, 2015 @08:49PM (#50653937) Homepage Journal
    I woudn't at all be surprised if drinking sugary sodas is the number one cause of diabetes. Additionally, most artificial sweeteners really aren't all that great for you, either, if for no other reason than they don't break you of the habit of drinking sweet drinks all the time. People who live that way need to bite the bullet and drink nothing but WATER (the kind out of the tap that's free, not stupid overpriced bottled water!) for at least a year. Then they can have a soda once in a while.. assuming it's cane sugar-sweetened, not HFCS, not aspartame, not sucralose. In my opinion, stevia is OK, but as with most things YMMV. But everyone needs to get out of the habit of swilling sodas all the time and drink WATER instead. You'll be healthier and happier in the long run, and have more money in your pocket, too. In my opinion.
  • by reemul ( 1554 ) on Saturday October 03, 2015 @08:52PM (#50653945)

    The nannystate regulators who ban soda because of the high calories are curiously prone to carve out exceptions for drinks containing dairy. They're very concerned about the health of those other people drinking cokes from large cups, but not about to start interfering with their own consumption of ridiculously high calorie Starbucks coffee-based concoctions. It's a class based prejudice, the wrong sorts of people can't be trusted to organize their own affairs while us enlightened folks need no restrictions whatever. As always with the leftists, it's about control, not about health.

  • I hate when I am grabbing a snack and it comes with a "free" drink and that drink turns out to be pop. So yes I pretty much see it as getting a free "gift" with some purchase and it turns out to be cigarettes. I am insulted when people on the street ask if I have a cigarette, and I am insulted when I tell guests to grab anything they want out of my fridge and they then ask if I have pop. I have to restrain myself from saying, "Do I look like an idiot?"

    So while I never thought about it pop is sort of the n
  • by King_TJ ( 85913 ) on Saturday October 03, 2015 @08:53PM (#50653961) Journal

    Right now, it's just the in thing to avoid soda. The pre-teens and teens I see who tell you they "don't drink that stuff" are the same ones buying up those nasty tasting "energy drinks" chock full of caffeine and all sorts of other chemicals.

    Anything you eat or drink too much of can be bad for you. The people I knew who'd wind up with a huge tower of empty soda cans in their cubicle at work, for example? Probably wasn't doing them much good, health-wise.

    But honestly, I'm already well into my 40's and am one of those people who gets a fountain soda pretty often at the gas station, or with lunch or dinner when I go out. I occasionally buy a 2 liter of Pepsi or Dr. Pepper or something to drink at home too. I've been doing this since I was a teenager. Can't really say I've had any negative heath effects from it, so far. And I'm getting to the age where stuff starts going wrong, regardless. So I expect someone will blame my thumb that keeps popping out of its joint on the soda drinking or who knows what.... But hey, I don't smoke and really cut back on drinking alcohol since my late 20's.

    Personally, I'd trust any of the sodas with real cane sugar in them more than these artificially sweetened low-cal/no cal drinks and/or the energy drinks on the market.

  • by superdave80 ( 1226592 ) on Saturday October 03, 2015 @09:29PM (#50654097)
    Now kids are drinking 'energy drinks'. Not sure if this is an improvement or not. On a side note, soda isn't really that bad, it's just that they give such gigantic amounts of it to you now. I wish my company vending machine would just vend a can of coke, rather than the giant 1/2 liter bottles. And god help you if you order a 'large' soda at any place now days...
  • by mark_reh ( 2015546 ) on Sunday October 04, 2015 @10:26AM (#50656063) Journal

    1) adding CO2 to water turns it into an acid- carbonic acid- which is bad for the teeth because it demineralizes (dissolves) tooth enamel.
    2) most sodas contain additional phosphoric acid- the same stuff dentists use to etch teeth to help composite restorative materials bond to the teeth
    3) the sugar in soda feeds the bacteria in the mouth. The bacteria cling to the teeth in biofilms that must be removed by mechanical actions of brushing and flossing. Many of the bacteria that live in the mouth convert sugar into lactic acid which, like soda, dissolves the enamel on the teeth. Eventually anaerobic bacteria move in to the newly created environment and invade the soft tissue and bone. This is when teeth start getting loose and breath smells like death.
    4) minerals in the saliva can harden on the teeth (calculus) above and below the gum line and can't be removed by brushing and flossing- they must be removed by a hygienist with steel bladed instruments, sometimes with ultrasonic assistance. Calculus is porous and is like a high rise condo for bacteria- party all the time! Everyone should see a hygienist regularly to keep calculus build up under control.
    5) sugar is high in non nutritive calories which contributes to obesity.
    6) a huge number of health problems are related to obesity including type II diabetes, cardiovascular problems, joint problems, etc.
    7) "sports" drinks are as bad for the teeth as soda.
    8) "Mountain Dew Mouth" is indistinguishable from "Meth Mouth", probably because the condition is largely caused by meth users consuming large amounts of candy and soda because it's easier, faster, and cheaper than cooking/eating proper food and well, you know, food costs money that could be spent on more meth...
    9) Keeping teeth healthy is important for maintaining overall health and quality of life. When you lose teeth your ability to chew food properly before swallowing is diminished. Poor chewing performance leads to poor digestive performance. Lose enough teeth and you're stuck eating soft foods that you can mash with your tongue. Dentures help, but they are prosthetics- like an artificial leg, and a poor substitute for the real thing when it comes to function. Imagine spending the last 30 years or so of your life unable to eat the things you like to eat. What will a diet of spaghetti, mashed potatoes, and apple sauce do to your disposition and overall health?
    10) Your immune system helps control bacterial populations in the mouth, but in diabetics the immune response is lessened by the disease so it becomes even more important for diabetics who want to keep their teeth to step up their self care and see professionals regularly. It is extremely important to monitor your blood sugar and take your medications as instructed by your physician/endocrinologist.
    11) Smoking is bad for the teeth. Nicotine causes the small blood vessels that carry immune system components to constrict, reducing blood flow to the teeth, gums and surrounding bone. The bad bacteria freely invade the soft tissues and bone and before you know it, you start losing teeth. Smoking makes the breath stink and stains teeth. It is a filthy habit. Chewing tobacco is just disgusting and equally bad for the teeth. Any form of tobacco use delivers carcinogens to the soft tissues in the mouth and can lead to oral cancer, a particularly disfiguring form of cancer.

    Please reduce or stop soda/sports drink consumption and drink more water, quit smoking or chewing tobacco, brush and floss as instructed by your dentist, and see the dentist/hygienist regularly for maintenance. Your life will be a more pleasant experience, guaranteed.

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