Americans are losing their taste for diet sodas – and that’s a good thing.
A recent report by Wells Fargo, citing Nielsen scanner data, shows sales of zero- and low-calorie soft drinks fell nearly 7% through November 23rd - and regular soda sales dipped by just a little more than 2%.
Effects of Diet Sodas
The diet drink craze in the U.S. surged between 1990 and 2010 as the American public became more concerned about obesity. Sales of diet drinks rose from 26 percent to 31 percent during that period, despite consumer complaints about the taste of artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose.
Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in a 2005 report considered these artificial sweeteners safe, and the American Diabetes Association and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics claimed them as safe weight-loss tools, there are studies that show frequent consumption of artificial sweeteners is linked to obesity, heart disease and diabetes.
After news broke of diet soda sales dropping amid health concerns, the American Beverage Association, the trade group representing soda companies, stood behind the artificial sweeteners. The group also reaffirmed the European Food Safety Authority’s backing of aspartame.
Additionally, the trade group defended diet drinks stating, “low- and no-calorie sweeteners offer consumers yet another way to enjoy their favorite beverages, while maintaining and managing their weight.”
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