News Releases & Statements
Beverage Industry Responds to Latest CDC Data Brief
In response to "Consumption of Added Sugar Among U.S. Children and Adolescents, 2005-2008," a data brief from the National Center for Health Statistics of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Beverage Association issued the following statement:
"Our industry provides consumers with more choices, smaller portions and fewer calories than ever before. In fact, the development of more low- and no-calorie beverages has helped drive a 23 percent reduction in the average calories per serving since 1998. And while beverage calories continued to decline during that time, obesity rates continued to climb according to CDC. This CDC data brief makes two things clear - beverages do not uniquely contribute to obesity, and they are not the leading source of added sugar calories in the diet of American children and adolescents."
Additional Background Information:
On the Data Brief:
- This report shows that foods, not beverages, are the leading source of calories from added sugars in the diet of American children and adolescents.
- While the authors note that 41 percent of calories from added sugars came from beverages, it's important to recognize that beverages were grouped to include "milk and milk substitutes, sugar drinks (fruit drinks, sodas, energy and sports drinks, and sweetened bottled water), fruit juices, nectars, vegetable juices, coffee, tea, and alcoholic beverages."
- Additionally, the percent of daily calories from added sugars declined between 1999-2000 and 2007-2008.
On Sugar-Sweetened Beverages and Obesity:
- Calories from sugar-sweetened beverages-including soft drinks, juice drinks, flavored waters and other beverages-make up only 7 percent of the calories in the American diet according to a National Cancer Institute analysis of government data submitted to the U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. That means that 93 percent of our calories come from other sources.
- Sales of regular soft drinks declined by 12.5 percent from 1999 to 2010. Yet, obesity rates continued to rise at the same time.
On Sugar in the Diet:
- Sugars are sugars, regardless of the source. In fact, the body metabolizes them in essentially the same way.
- Furthermore, the body of available science has not shown that sugar intake causes adverse health effects in humans.
- Like all foods, beverages and ingredients, sugar should be consumed in moderation as part of an active, healthy and balanced lifestyle.
On Industry's Efforts to Deliver Meaningful Solutions:
- America's beverage companies are delivering more choices, smaller portions, fewer calories and clearer labels across the country. By doing so, our companies are making a meaningful difference for families and individuals in our communities - making it easier to choose the drink that's right for them.
- More Choices:
o Through innovation, our companies have broadened their product portfolio, offering beverages in a wide variety of type, portion size and calories. These innovations are evident on store shelves and in vending machines throughout our communities.
o The broad choices in beverage type include soft drinks, ready-to-drink teas, water, sports drinks, flavored and enhanced waters, juices, energy drinks and more.
o The new choices include an ever-increasing selection of low- and no-calorie beverage choices, as well as mid-calorie beverages.
o The innovation pipeline continues as our companies remain engaged in developing even more beverage options to fit the ways people live.
- Smaller Portions:
o Delivering a range of portion sizes is another way to help individuals and parents choose beverages that are right for them and their families.
o Soft drinks and other beverages packaged for individuals are now available in portion sizes ranging from 20-ounce bottles to 7.5-ounce cans, with several options in between.
o In schools, the beverage industry is providing many beverages - from low- and no-calorie sodas to sports drinks to juices - in smaller portion sizes. This shift to smaller-portion options is one part of the industry's national School Beverage Guidelines.
o The range of portion sizes for beverages - including more smaller-portion options - provide for even more choices.
- Fewer Calories:
o Through innovation and initiative, America's beverage companies are cutting calories in stores and in schools across the country.
o The development of more low- and no-calorie beverages has helped drive a 23 percent reduction in the average calories per serving since 1998, according to Beverage Marketing Corporation, a leading analyst of industry sales data.
o Beverage companies cut total beverage calories shipped to schools by 88 percent by delivering on its national School Beverage Guidelines. The companies voluntarily removed full-calorie soft drinks and replaced them with low- and no-calorie options as well as smaller portion sizes. We developed these guidelines with the William J. Clinton Foundation and its Alliance for a Healthier Generation.
- Clear Calorie Labels:
o The Clear on Calories labels put calorie information right at the fingertips of consumers so they can make a choice that's right for them.
o The beverage industry announced the Clear on Calories initiative in support of First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move!" campaign.
# # #
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 Web site at www.ameribev.org or call the ABA communications team at (202) 463-6770.