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INCREASED COMMUNITY INTEREST IN CONSUMPTION OF CARBONATED SOFT DRINKS

There is increasing community interest in the growth of soft drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks, and flavored waters due to the escalating consumption by children and adolescents. Americans consume over 50 gallons per person per year, surpassing all other beverages including coffee, milk, alcohol, and bottled water. The largest increase in soft drink consumption has occurred among children and adolescents. Twenty two percent of one and two year old children consume soft drinks with an average of nearly one cup per day.

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Also, with diet soda drinks, there appears to be a rebound phenomenon whereby having consumed a diet drink the body anticipates an intake of calories, which is not forth coming. There is a general perception amongst consumers that fruit flavored water drinks are essentially water with subtle flavoring.The flavoring of these drinks, however, frequently includes citric acid and other fruit-derived acids.In comparison with carbonated soft drinks, flavored water drinks are considered as acidic drinks rather than water with flavoring.

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Vending machines have contributed to the substantial increase in soft drinks consumption and are now the largest source of added sugars in the U.S. Because of concern with obesity and weight gain, diet soft drinks were developed. These drinks have been marketed as sugar free drinks. They use artificial sweeteners to reduce their caloric content. However, these drinks still have a low, acidic pH, and studies have shown their erosive potential to be nearly equal to their sugary counterparts.