In the U.S., the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (soda, energy drinks, sports drinks, sweetened juices, etc.) has steadily risen over the past 30 years, strongly correlated with obesity rates. Sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) are now the most significant contributor to one’s daily caloric intake, and have a recognized negative impact on health. Regular soft drink consumption has been directly linked with increased body weight, as well as increased risk for diabetes and metabolic syndrome, even among those who consumed just one soft drink per day.
First, some statistics to set the stage:
- Adults consume an average of 265-293 calories’ worth of SSBs on a daily basis, while adolescents consume an average of 104-269 calories from SSBs per day. 
- A whopping 96% of beverage marketing and advertising is targeted directly at children and adolescents. 
- “For each extra can or glass of sugared beverage consumed per day, the likelihood of a child’s becoming obese increases by 60%.” 
*this amount was calculated assuming some reduction in consumption
 Pomeranz JL. “Advanced policy options to regulate sugar-sweetened beverages to support public health.” Journal of Public Health Policy, 25 August 2011. [epub ahead of print]
 Brownell KD, Frieden TR. Ounces of Prevention – The Public Policy Case for Taxes on Sugared Beverages. New England Journal of Medicine. 2009; 360(18):1805-1808.
 Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity. Soft Drink Taxes: A Policy Brief. Fall 2009. Available from: http://www.yaleruddcenter.org/resources/upload/docs/what/reports/RuddReportSoftDrinkTaxFall2009.pdf