A couple years back while I was reading Dr. Robert Lustig’s “Fat Chance,” I reached a part of the book that really had me disillusioned.
“We’re doomed,” I said in an email to a colleague who knows a whole lot about the whole sugar/carbohydrate debate. (What can I say; I have my overly dramatic moments.)
He reassured me that actually he could see changes coming and predicted that in less than a decade we’d see significant change in sugared drink consumption. That would be a huge positive change, he reminded me. I told him I hoped he was right.
The New York Times’ lead story in the Sunday Business section was about what’s happening to the soda companies, and it’s not good. Despite successfully thwarting taxes on soda in a variety of cities, soda companies are not in a winning position. In fact, they are suffering big profit losses, according to the story by Margot Sanger-Katz.
It seems that the message that drinking a whole lot of soda is no good for a person’s health has been heard. People are reacting and changing their habits. Parents are keeping their children away from it. Sales of full-calorie sodas have declined 25 percent in the last 20 years, according to the New York Times story. As nutrition expert Marion Nestle says in the story, the days of kids drinking soda after soda are coming to an end. She should know; her book on the subject — “Soda Politics: Taking On Big Soda (And Winning)” — will be published this month.
Personally, I have been successful at trimming my soda consumption, but haven’t given it up totally. (I quit totally for almost a year, but then started having the very occasional soda.) Maybe I have one a week, when out somewhere. Some weeks go by and I have none. At one time in my life I had at least one soda a day, so I think that’s progress.
You can do it, too. I replaced it with a lot of water and some tea. They say it takes a good three weeks for a craving to begin to wane, so know that going in. Just keep telling yourself it’ll be easier in 21 days, and you know what, it will be.
If you’re on a tight budget, write down what a soda would have cost you every time you want one and don’t purchase. And drink tap water. At the end of 21 days you’ll see how much money you saved and that could keep you motivated to stay off the soda.
NOTE: Updated to correct spelling error in paragraph 5 and punctuation mistake in paragraph 6.