The good news is that fewer people consume soda – 63 percent avoided it in 2014 compared to 41 percent in 2002, according to Gallup. But many still can’t resist the sweet beverage — the average person drinks 45 gallons a year. Industry tracker Beverage Digest says soda consumption is down to a 30-year low.
Sugary sodas have been losing to diet ones for several years now. A lot of research has proven how unhealthy sugar is. A recent one even made a connection between soda consumption and a life expectancy decrease of 4.6 years, a result of the fact that sugar damages telomeres, which affect how cells age.
But while people are getting rid of one harmful substance, they are letting several others in. Diet sodas taste the same as regular ones because they have artificial sweeteners. But they play tricks on the brain in ways that are worse than regular sodas.
More bad news is the fact that many people may have replaced soda with booze. A recent study found that heavy drinking among Americans rose by 17.2 percent between 2005 and 2012. To make matters worse, people consume more in a shorter period of time. Binging is up almost 9 percent.
Alcohol, a psychoactive substance with dependence-producing properties, can cause a lot of harm, but it often depends on the volume of consumption. The destructive use of liquor is a component cause of more than 200 disease and injury conditions, most notably alcohol dependence, liver cirrhosis and cancers, according to the World Health Organization.