The Huge Drop in Soda Sales Is a Big Boost for Public Health

Sales of full-calorie soda are down 25 percent over the past 20 years.

Via Flickr

Over the last 20 years, sales of full-calorie soda have dropped by more than 25 percent, and industry experts project that in two years, bottled water will eclipse soda in annual sales. Although recent attempts to enact a sales tax on soda have failed in Philadelphia, New York, and San Francisco (Berkeley, California, did pass a penny-per-ounce tax this year), the attention these political actions are getting has had a big impact on the public’s perception of super-sweet drinks. Plus, recent efforts to remove carbonated beverages in schools and in government offices have made an impact on the decline as well. Studies show that from 2004 to 2012, children consumed 79 fewer sugar-sweetened calories a day, with most of the reduction coming from a decline in soda drinking. This change in American dietary habits has put the entire carbonated beverage industry on edge.

“We’re losing, I would say, 1.5 to 2 percent of our business every year,” Harold Honickman, chairman of the Honickman Group, one of the largest soda distributors in the United States, told The New York Times. This decline in soda consumption has beverage companies scrambling. Coca-Cola has rapidly expanded its product offerings from 400 to 700 in recent years, with a new focus on bottled water, iced teas, and sports drinks. Pepsi is touting the fact that its mini cans are made with “real sugar” instead of high-fructose corn syrup.

Public health advocates are successfully turning soda into the new tobacco, a product worthy of sin taxes and stigmatization. “There will always be soda, but I think the era of it being acceptable for kids to drink soda all day long is passing,” said Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition at York University. Diet soda sales are also on the decline with many former drinkers switching to healthier beverages due to skepticism about its artificial flavorings and sweeteners. The decrease in diet soda has directly contributed to the significant rise in bottled water sales. Now, if the public could figure out what do with the containers that hold all that water, we’d really be onto something.

(H/T The New York Times)

via The Howard Stern Show / YouTube

Former Secretary of State, first lady, and winner of the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton, sat own for an epic, two-and-a--half hour interview with Howard Stern on his SiriusXM show Wednesday.

She was there to promote "The Book of Gutsy Women," a book about heroic women co-written with her daughter, Chelsea Clinton.

In the far-reaching conversation, Clinton and the self-proclaimed "King of All Media" and, without a doubt, the best interviewer in America discussed everything from Donald Trump's inauguration to her sexuality.

Keep Reading Show less

Offering parental leave for new fathers could help close the gender gap, removing the unfair "motherhood penalty" women receive for taking time off after giving birth. However, a new study finds that parental leave also has a pay gap. Men are less likely to take time off, however, when they do, they're more likely to get paid for it.

A survey of 2,966 men and women conducted by New America found that men are more likely to receive paid parental leave. Over half (52%) of fathers had fully paid parental leave, and 14% of fathers had partially paid parental leave. In comparison, 33% of mothers had fully paid parental leave and 19% had partially paid parental leave.

Keep Reading Show less

Bans on plastic bags and straws can only go so far. Using disposable products, like grabbing a plastic fork when you're on the go, can be incredibly convenient. But these items also contribute to our growing plastic problem.

Fortunately, you can cut down on the amount of waste you produce by cutting down on disposable products. And even more fortunately, there are sustainable (and cute) replacements that won't damage the environment.

Coconut bowls


Who says sustainable can't also be stylish? These cute coconut bowls were handmade using reclaimed coconuts, making each piece one of a kind. Not only are they organic and biodegradable, but they're also durable, in case your dinner parties tend to get out of hand. The matching ebony wood spoons were polished with the same coconut oil as the bowls.

Cocostation Set of 2 Vietnamese Coconut Bowls and Spoons, $14.99; at Amazon

Solar powered phone charger


Why spend time looking around for an outlet when you can just harness the power of the sun? This solar powered phone charger will make sure your phone never dies as long as you can bask in the sun's rays. As an added bonus, this charger was made using eco-friendly silicone rubber. It's win-win all around.

Dizaul Solar Charger, 5000mAh Portable Solar Power Bank, $19.95; at Amazon, $19.95; at Amazon

Herb garden kit

Planter Pro

Put some green in your life with this herb planter. The kit comes with everything you need to get a garden growing, including a moisture meter that helps you determine if your herbs are getting the right amount of food to flourish. All the seeds included are certified to be non-GMO and non-hybrids, meaning you can have fresh, organic herbs right at your fingertips.

Planter Pro's Herb Garden Cedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazonedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazon

Reusable Keurig cups

K & J

Keurig cups are convenient, but they also create a ton of plastic waste. These Keurig-compatible plastic cups are an easy way to cut down on the amount of trash you create without cutting down on your caffeine. Additionally, you won't have to keep on buying K Cups, which means you'll be saving money and the environment.

K&J Reusable Filter Cups, $8.95 for a set of 4,; at Amazon

Low-flow shower head


Low-flow water fixtures can cut down your water consumption, which saves you money while also saving one of the Earth's resources. This shower head was designed with a lighter flow in mind, which means you'll be able to cut down on water usage without feeling like you're cutting down on your shower.

Speakman Low Flow Shower Head, $14.58; at Amazon

Bamboo safety razor


Instead of throwing away a disposable razor every time you shave, invest in an eco-friendly, reusable one. This unisex shaver isn't just sustainable, it's also sharp-looking, which means it would make a great gift for the holidays.

Zomchi Safety Razor, $16.99; at Amazon

The Planet