A new report from Beverage Digest proves the fallacy of the “soda causes obesity” argument, instead showing that sales have been declining since 2009 as obesity rates have continued to rise.  This information once again shows that by nearly every measure, sugar-sweetened beverages are playing a small and declining role in the American diet.  From the report:

Per capita [Carbonated Soft Drink (CSD)] consumption in the U.S. fell to 701 eight-ounce servings in 2012, down from 714 eight-ounce servings in 2011 and from 728 in 2010. That is the lowest it has been since 1987. CSDs, while still the biggest category, are playing a declining role in Americans’ beverage consumption.

More information will be included in Beverage Digest’s soon-to-be published 2013 Fact Book.  In the meantime, here are a few more tidbits of Sip & Savor-recommended reading that help clear up some myths about beverage consumption:

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 average American diet according to a National Cancer Institute analysis of government data. That means that 93 percent of the calories in the American diet come from other sources. Caloric intake from sugar-sweetened beverages declined by more than 20 percent between 2001 and 2010, yet obesity rates continued to rise. The average number of calories per beverage serving is down 23 percent since 1998 and about 45 percent of all non-alcoholic beverages purchased today have zero calories. Forty-eight percent of overweight and obese individuals drink no sugar-sweetened beverages.

All of this goes to show that when consumers reach for a beverage and find more choices than ever before, they are choosing the one that is right for them.