Teens Tastes For Water Greater Than Soda

At one point in time, most schools were stocked with vending machines full of soft drinks. Drop in a few quarters, or feed the machine a dollar, and hit the button for soda. And if teens weren't drinking soda at school, they could always fill up a biggie-sized mug at a local quickie mart.

That's been the norm for a long time. And it may be one reason child obesity has been on the rise. Today, about 30 percent of all teenagers are overweight or obese, according to research by the Kaiser Family Foundation. But the message about the health risks linked to sugary drinks is finally being heard.

New research shows that teens are drinking more bottled water than ever, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many schools have banned vending machines that sell soft drinks on their campuses. And in cities like Berkeley, Calif., and Philadelphia, Penn., local legislators have successfully passed a soda tax to raise money for education and promote healthy food and lifestyle choices.

How much less soda are they drinking? Survey data shows teens are drinking an average of 14 percent less sugar-sweetened beverages now than they did a decade ago. And that's a great sign that could help curb child obesity.

Industry trends show similar results. According to the Beverage Marketing Corp, bottled water sales have risen 120 percent in the last 15 years. And it appears that teens are part of the solution to help make drinking water…cool. "As a society as a whole, we're having more of a focus on being healthier, and we have to give teenagers credit," said Kristi King, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. "I'm starting to see a lot more teenagers wanting to take responsibility for their health. I see that on a daily basis here in clinic."

If you want to control calories, improve your diet, and your health, drink more water. Avoid or limit sugar-sweetened beverages. Aim for about eight glasses of water a day, more if you're highly active or live in a hot environment.

Drinking more water instead of sugar-sweetened beverages is also another way to help you follow a low-carb diet. Pour yourself a glass of ice water, and enjoy a healthy, and tasty meal from our Low-Carb menu.