When we think America, we think soda and other sugary drinks—at least that’s what a new poll suggests.
A survey of some 1,900 U.S. adults by Interlex Communications and the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity reveals Americans think drinking sugary drinks is a part of the all-American culture.
This comes despite the fact most of those same individuals say they know it’s not good to drink them, and only 11 percent of them think sugary drink companies care about their health.
But they can’t help from having positive perceptions of the drinks. In four focus groups as part of the survey, many respondents used the terms “energy, relaxed, comfortable and friends” to describe them.
The survey also finds 57 percent of those polled agree sugary drink companies contribute to high rates of U.S. obesity, 53 percent say sugary drink companies influenced elected officials via campaign contributions and 51 percent say sugary drink companies unfairly target youth and minorities.
And half of them say they’d like to reduce the amount of the drinks they consume.
Soda and other sugary drinks have especially recently played a big part in the obesity debate.
Recently, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg proposed an initiative to ban the sale of “jumbo” sodas and sugar-laden beverages to combat increasing obesity rates. Anything bigger than 16 ounces qualifies, and the ban would cover restaurants, food carts and other places that carry a letter grade for food service (but no grocery stores).
New York City voters say they are opposed to the ban 51 percent to 46 percent, according to a poll by Quinnipiac University, and doubt it will be an effective way of cutting down obesity rates.