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U.S. per capita consumption of soft drinks 2010-2018

Per capita consumption of soft drinks in the United States from 2010 to 2018 (in gallons)

by Jan Conway, last edited Aug 9, 2019
U.S. per capita consumption of soft drinks 2010-2018 Soft drink consumption in the United States dipped again for the 13th straight year in 2018 to 38.87 gallons per person. Since the peak of 53 gallons in 2000, per capita consumption has declined by 25 percent. The U.S. still has some of the highest consumption rates in the world, with over 50 percent of respondents of a recent international survey stating that they consumed soft drinks at least multiple times in a week, if not every day.
Health implications

Part of the reason for this decrease in consumption could be due to the increased awareness of the health effects of sugary drinks. Studies have repeatedly shown that regular consumption of such drinks increases the likelihood of health conditions such as obesity and diabetes. This fact has prompted many nations to impose a tax on drinks containing more than a certain amount of sugar. While the United States does not have such a national policy, several municipalities have implemented a tax. Philadelphia has taxed sweetened drinks at 1.5 cent per ounce since the beginning of 2017 and has seen a 38 percent reduction in sales as a result.

Changing consumption habits

The public awareness of the dangers of soft drinks seems to be reflected in the continued increase in the consumption of bottled water. Over the same period in which per capita consumption of soft drinks has declined, consumption of bottled water has increased by over 150 percent. Younger people, in particular, are reflecting this change in beverage consumption, with only 49 percent consuming soft drinks regularly compared to 57.5 percent of older generations.
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Per capita consumption of soft drinks in the United States from 2010 to 2018 (in gallons)

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