More Americans Say They’re Avoiding Soda Than Ever Before (But They Might Be Lying)


Has Coke lost its cachet? According to a recent Gallup poll, nearly two-thirds of Americans — or 63 percent — are actively trying to avoid soda. That’s a 12 percentage point increase from 2004, when 51 percent said they were trying to avoid the stuff.

At the same time, the number of Americans who keep track of their soda consumption has grown. In 2004, 24 percent of those surveyed said that they “don’t think about’’ how much soda they drink. Ten years later, that number dropped to 13 percent.

This decrease in purported soda intake comes at a time when soda bans and taxes have frequently been in the news.


Those people still may not be as aware of how much soda they drink as they think. Though only 23 percent of people surveyed said they actively tried to include soda in their diet, in a 2012 poll, about half of Americans surveyed report drinking at least one glass a day. Perhaps they’re trying, but just can’t resist Pepsi’s siren song?

That discrepancy between what Americans say they keep track of and what they actually consume is something Gallup found in other areas of its study:

“The data generally show that Americans are highly aware of what they should and should not be including in their diet, including their almost universal claim that they include fruits and vegetables in their daily eating plans. Because it is not clear that such a high proportion of Americans really do eat this healthily, the challenge appears to be one of changing their actual behavior rather than their underlying knowledge of what is good and bad for their health.’’

Despite Americans saying they are more conscious of their food and drink intake, nearly 28 percent of American adults are obese in 2014 — the highest rate since Gallup began keeping track in 2008. And according to the Centers for Disease Control, a whopping 70 percent of Americans who are 20 years old and over are considered overweight.

That may not change for the better anytime soon. According to The Washington Post: “A recent study exploring parents’ involvement in treating childhood obesity found that even when faced with clear evidence, many parents aren’t willing to admit that their child’s weight problem might be a health issue.’’

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