In response to CSPI's campaign to reduce the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, the American Beverage Association issued the following statement:

"CSPI's campaign against sugar-sweetened beverages ignores the latest scientific evidence showing that sugar-sweetened beverages play a small and declining role in the American diet, even as obesity is increasing.

According to an analysis of federal government data presented to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Committee, all sugar-sweetened beverages (soft drinks, juice drinks, sports drinks, flavored waters, etc.) account for just 7 percent of the calories in the average American's diet. That means Americans get 93 percent of their calories from other foods and beverages. And, recent data show that sugar-sweetened beverage consumption has been declining.

A report from researchers at Emory University and the CDC entitled ‘Consumption of added sugars is declining in the United States' published in a recent issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that consumption of added sugars declined by almost 25 percent between 1999 and 2008. The authors found that ‘two-thirds of this decrease resulted from decreased soda consumption.' They also noted that ‘the decreasing trend in added sugar consumption over the study period (1999- 2008) was observed across all age, race-ethnicity and income groups.'

Despite this decrease in added sugars consumption, most notably from sugar-sweetened beverages, obesity rates continue to climb. This reinforces the fact that balancing calories from all foods and beverages with those burned through physical activity and exercise is essential to addressing obesity.

According to Beverage Digest, sales of full-calorie soft drinks have declined by 12.5 percent from 1999 to 2010. Consumers are selecting from the wide variety of no- and low-calorie beverage options that our member companies produce. In fact, the total number of calories from all beverages produced for the marketplace decreased by 21 percent from 1998 to 2008, according to Beverage Marketing Corporation data. This is due in part to industry's innovation of more no- and low-calorie options. Consumers are clearly taking advantage of the substantial growth in beverage choices they have today.

To that end, our member companies are committed to doing their part. We removed full-calorie soft drinks from all schools across the country and replaced them with more lower-calorie, smaller-portion beverage options. Under our national School Beverage Guidelines, our member companies slashed beverage calories shipped to schools by a dramatic 88 percent since 2004. And with Clear on Calories, America's leading beverage companies have voluntarily made the calories in their products even more clear and consumer-friendly by putting calorie labels right on the front of every bottle, can and pack they produce.

These are initiatives that are meaningful and will contribute far more to solving complex health issues like obesity than CSPI's sound bite solution that offers plenty of hype but no substance."

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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 or call the ABA communications team at (202) 463-6770.