The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released the latest statistics on sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption in 23 states and the District of Columbia, concluding that, in 2013, approximately 30 percent of surveyed adults reported drinking at least one SSB per day. Sohyun Park, et al., “Prevalence of Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Intake Among Adults—23 States and the District of Columbia, 2013,” Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Feb. 26, 2016. Relying on data gathered via Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) telephone survey, the study refined previous questionnaires to solicit information about the consumption of sweet tea and energy drinks in addition to regular soda and sweetened fruit beverages.

The results evidently indicate that “at least once daily SSB intake was most common among persons aged 18–24 years (43.3%), men (34.1%), blacks (39.9%), persons who reported being unemployed (34.4%), and persons with less than a high school education (42.4%).” Across all age groups in Mississippi—the state with the highest prevalence of SSB consumption—47.5 percent of respondents said they drink at least one SSB daily and 27.3 percent said they drink two or more SSBs daily. By comparison, Vermont was the state with the lowest prevalence, with 18 percent of respondents consuming at least one SSB daily.

“As has been reported in other studies that used National Health Interview Survey and BRFSS data, the prevalence of at least once daily SSB intake in this analysis was higher in southern states,” note the report authors. “Higher SSB intake frequency in certain states could result, in part, from variations in beverage retail environments, including access and availability, cultural norms, and advertising… Considering potential adverse health effects of SSB intake and the substantial contribution that SSBs make to excess dietary sugar, continuation of public health efforts aimed at decreasing high SSB intake is important.”