American Beverage Association Disputes Center For Disease Control Statements On Sugar Sweetened Beverages

In response to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics Data Brief, "Consumption of Sugar Drinks in the United States, 2005-2008," the American Beverage Association (ABA) issued the following statement:

"Contrary to what may be implied by the introductory statement of this data brief that reaches back 30 years, sugar-sweetened beverages are not driving health issues like obesity and diabetes. In fact, recently published data from CDC researchers show that sugar-sweetened beverages play a declining role in the American diet, even as obesity is increasing.

According to an analysis of federal government data presented to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Committee, all sugar-sweetened beverages (soft drinks, juice drinks, sports drinks, flavored waters, etc.) account for only 7 percent of the calories in the average American's diet. That means Americans get 93 percent of their calories from other foods and beverages.

In July, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a report, ‘Consumption of added sugars is declining in the United States,’ from researchers at Emory University and the CDC which found that Americans consumed nearly a quarter less added sugars in 2008 than they did in 1999 which was mostly the result of people drinking less sugar-sweetened beverages. 

Moreover, the total number of calories from beverages that our member companies have brought to market decreased by 21 percent from 1998 to 2008, according to Beverage Marketing Corp. data. This is due in part to industry's innovation in bringing more no-and low-calorie beverage options to market. And according to Beverage Digest, sales of full-calorie soft drinks have declined by 12.5 percent from 1999 to 2010.  

Yet despite this decrease in added sugars intake – and consumption of regular soft drinks – obesity rates have continued to climb during the same time period. Balancing calories from all foods and beverages with those burned through physical activity and exercise is essential to maintaining a balanced, active and healthy lifestyle."

The American Beverage Association is the trade association representing the broad spectrum of companies that manufacture and distribute non-alcoholic beverages in the United States. For more information on ABA, please visit the association's Website at www.ameribev.org or call the ABA communications team at (202) 463-6770.

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