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« Richard Wheeler Reports | Main | Pensions »

June 22, 2006

Facts for the Day

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

Among Americans, average daily calorie intake "increased by 24.5 percent, or about 530 calories, between 1970 and 2000." (Source.) Meanwhile, for the first time in 20 years, soft-drink sales are falling. (Source.) The category isn't expected to bounce back any time soon. According to a Morgan Stanley beverage-industry analyst, soft drinks are expected to continue "to lose their positive image as a popular, versatile, fun beverage choice as consumers are cutting back on sugar, drinking more water and watching calories." Could we be witnessing the beginning of the end of the Fat-American era?



posted by Michael at June 22, 2006


Some alternative beverages such as sports drinks, noncarbonated flavored waters and, especially, the "liquid candy" drinks from Starbucks and similar places are *not* any lower calorie than non-diet soft drinks. Some can be much higher calorie.

Posted by: Peter on June 23, 2006 1:16 PM

Peter is right. Soft drinks are not a significant factor in America's obesity problem, as long as they are DIET soft drinks (no sugar). Sugar is a huge problem, in that practically everything in the typical American diet is either constituted of it or injected with it. This, I would wager, accounts for the increase in average caloric intake mentioned in the article.

Not everything has to taste sweet. Our go-go "lifestyle" has us wolfing down whatever, so our palates are woefully undeveloped: for American fatties, it's "Sweet" or "Sucks" - period. Sweet tea, anyone?

Posted by: DR on June 23, 2006 3:56 PM

Peter -- "Liquid candy" is good! Still, I wonder if younger people are waking up to how many drinks are fattening. But I'm probably being Miss Mary Sunshine here. But wouldn't it be fun if Coke lost its allure?

DR -- It is amazing how much sugar the food manufacturers see fit to inject into our food, isn't it? Another element turns out to be processed grains. Let's see if I can remember the figure I just ran across ... Oh, yeah: in 1970, Americans ate 132 lbs of grains per year per person. By 1997 or thereabouts, they were up to 200 lbs. That's a lot of extra easy carbs.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on June 23, 2006 6:54 PM

Don't forget "energy drinks". They also have lots of sugar and caffeine.

I see lots of fat people all the time. If the tide is turning, I can't detect it yet.

Also, would this have something to do with an aging population? Maybe not.

Posted by: S on June 23, 2006 9:29 PM

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