For quite some time, we’ve been telling our story of how our industry’s beverages clearly aren’t driving the nation’s obesity challenge.  By every measure, sugar-sweetened beverages play a small and declining role in the American diet. Our position is based in fact – and is supported by data.

We’ve shared that sales of regular soft drinks declined by 12.5 percent from 1999 to 2010. We’ve informed you about how the average number of calories per beverage serving is down 23 percent since 1998. And we’ve let you know that added sugars consumed from soda are down 39 percent since 2000.

Despite all of this, our critics always try to paint the picture that sugar-sweetened beverages, which contribute about 7 percent of the calories in the average American’s diet, are 100 percent to blame for obesity.  That’s simply not the case.

In fact, just today, USA Today reported that adult consumption of added sugars – from foods and beverages - continues to decline.  This is no surprise to us.  After all, 45 percent of all non-alcoholic beverages purchased today are zero calorie.

What we can tell you is that our industry is committed to providing consumers with great-tasting beverages in a wide array of portion sizes, calorie ranges and flavors. And by providing consumers with calorie information on the front of every bottle, can and pack, we’re helping them make the choice that’s right for them.