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Posted: Friday, 18 April 2014 6:59AM

Soda consumption going down

According to a leading beverage industry newsletter, there has been a big decline in soda consumption in the United States and it continues to drop. Denise Holston-West is a dietitian with the LSU Ag Center. She says the Beverage Digest report found that since the mid 90s, soda consumption per person, per year...has gone down about four gallons.

"In 1998 the average American consumed about 51 gallons of soda per year," Holston-West said. "And now we're finding it's about 44 gallons. That doesn't seem like a lot but it is."

Holston-West says people are becoming more aware of what they put in their bodies and recognize drinking sugary drinks could potentially impact their health in the future.

She also says it's getting expensive to have a regular soda drinking habit.

"The average cost of a 12 pack of soda has gone way up and in this economy people are choosing cheaper and healthier options," said Holston-West.

Holston-West says the biggest drop was in the consumption of diet sodas which fell 6 percent last year. She says people are concerned about artificial sweeteners even though they have been found to be safe.

Holston-West says she really hopes parents are starting to get the message that letting their kids drink sodas is a bad idea.

"They are in a time where they're growing, their bones are growing," said Holston-West. "We don't want them to be consuming large amounts of sugar sweetened beverages that actually take calcium out of bones."

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