Majority of Americans Say They Try to Avoid Soda

In a Gallup poll of annual consumption habits amongst 1009 American adults, the exclusion of soda topped the list. The poll was conducted based on the types of foods people try to avoid or include in their daily diet. Some of the other types of foods polled included sugar, fat, salt, fruits, gluten-free foods, vegetables and lean meat.


Slightly more than 60% Americans say they are actively trying to avoid soda. This statistic seems to hold true for both regular as well as diet soda, even though regular soda has far more sugar and and a higher calorie content than diet versions.

Although this might not seem like news, the poll reflects a significant change in diet attitudes when compared to 2002, when only 41% Americans were actively trying to avoid soda or exclude it from their diet. This trend signals a definite improvement in awareness about the perils of soda consumption irrespective of regular or diet. This could partly be due to recent studies unraveling the negative effects of artificial sweeteners.

Moreover, when quizzed about the types of foods they include in their diet, 90% of the people polled responded that they try to consume fruits and vegetables. Also, 3 in 4 people make the effort to include chicken and fish, both lean and heart-healthy foods in their diet. However, this hasn’t had much of an effect on the reduction of red meat consumption, which still stands at 61%.

The take home message from this poll is that a majority of Americans are aware of what foods to avoid and include in their diet for an overall healthier lifestyle. However, there is a snag in the translation of awareness into action. For example, even though 90% are trying to include fruits and vegetables, only 57.7% report having 5 or more servings for 4 days a week in 2013. Sustained awareness measures are key to educating people about healthy food choices, especially those coming from low-income backgrounds. But, in order to transform the education into action, we need initiatives that improve food accessibility and inculcate changes in shopping habits.

Can’t find the willpower to avoid soda? The Pavlok might be the perfect tool to shock you into shape: