In the News: Positive Signs of Progress on the Healthy Eating Front

People Ditch Sodas for Water and Other Encouraging Shifts

Which do you think will come first:  we eat ourselves to death or we bankrupt ourselves with health care costs?  As dismal statistics continue rolling in about the state of our collective health, I find myself toying with that kind of no-win wager.

Take it with you! Better even than 7-11’s advertised water is a reusable container, made without BPA-leaking plastics.

So it inspired great hope to read a recent article about declining soda consumption.  The title alone was filled with hope:  “Is This the End of the Soft Drink Era?” the Wall Street Journal queried in its business section.

About the time of that article, I noticed a big banner at 7-11 advertising none other than water.  You read that right:  Home of the Big Gulp devoting prime outdoor ad space to plain old water.

Due to parent pressure, the Boulder Valley School District just announced that it will serve only hormone- and antibiotic-free beef and chicken

Not long ago, New York and Philadelphia as well as Mississippi and California reported modest declines in childhood obesity rates.

And just this week, the CDC reported the first evidence of a national decline in childhood obesity, based on declines in 18 states among low-income preschoolers.

Sure, the actual data of that CDC report may not quite measure up to the headline hype,  and the bigger health war is far from over, but it doesn’t hurt to celebrate small signs of progress.  In fact, it’s critical since hope is so critical in the quest for good health.  Year after year, dire statistics pile up while attempts to prevent us from a health collision are routinely derided as ineffective, heavy-handed, exorbitantly expensive or all of the above. The inescapable conclusion is that we’re doomed.

But here, finally, is proof that we aren’t consigned to an unalterable fate of poor eating and dismal health.  I attribute this germ of hope to positive people power. We are proving ourselves capable of ignoring predatory marketing messages and making healthier choices.  While I have no expensive scientific study for proof, what besides individuals responding to years of tireless educational efforts can explain the transition away from soda?

Let’s keep turning the numbers around. One by one, day in and day out, better choices mean that ill health and a sick nation are not our unalterable fate.  Join one of our classes; learn how you can make health-giving choices, beginning today!

Consumer Alert:  Nobody makes money on plain old water.  So our choice to drink plain old water is causing big headaches for Big Soda, which makes 60 to 90% of its revenue from soda sales. So we will soon be bombarded with aggressive–actually very aggressive–efforts to reverse our choices for health.

  • Watch Out!  PepsiCo is investing hundreds of millions of dollars in marketing to turn around it soda business.
  • Watch Out!  Coke is launching a new ad series “to counter our concerns about obesity.”  The ads argue that “soda shouldn’t be singled out for weight gain.”  They go on to “encourage Americans to have ‘fun’ burning off calories through activities.”

As clever, cute and funny ads roll across your screen, ask the unasked question: Is it fair or right for companies to ask that we sacrifice our health so they can maintain profit levels for shareholders?  If you have children, be sure to discuss this question with them, too.


Data Sources

  1. “Is This the End of the Soft Drink Era?” Mike Esterl, The Wall Street Journal, January 19-20, 2013, p. B1

One Response

  1. […] A previous post shared the good news that Americans are getting smarter and taking control of their health by reducing soda consumption.  It was always assumed that diet sodas were off the hook, but some experts aren’t so sure those cans of artificial ingredients don’t harbor health risks of their own.  (Here’s one report)  At the very least, they aren’t doing anything positive for our health.  So it was with interest that I read a recent Wall Street article, “Diet Soda’s Glass Looks Half Empty.”  Here’s the story of Joanna Stepka, “the soda industry’s new nightmare.” […]


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