Yesterday Gallup released a new poll that was conducted between July 7 and 10. Researchers asked a random sample of 1,013 adults across the United States about their dietary habits in terms of consuming sugar, salt, fruits and vegetables.
According to the national survey, nearly two-thirds of the respondents said they avoid consuming soda in their diet (63%) and over half said they steer clear of sugar (52%). Additionally, high percentages of the respondents said they try to include fruits (92%) and vegetables (93%) in their diet, but less than half of them (45%) said they try to incorporate organic foods.
Despite the small sample size, these are promising results from a random survey of Americans. Obesity among adults and children is at an all-time high (35.7% and 17%), which eventually leads to other chronic conditions such as type-2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and others. Such avoidable health issues cost the country's healthcare system billions of dollars each year and drastically affect the well-being of Americans.
The recent 2014 Gallup poll was then compared to previous polls conducted in 2006, 2004, and 2002. The changes in soda consumption were the most notable, with 63% of the respondents avoiding it in their diet in 2014 compared to 51% in 2004 and 41% in 2002 (there were no results from 2006 for this category). For sugar consumption, there was only a 1% different from 2014 and 2006/2004, and a 9% difference from 2002. Salt consumption was the least promising, with 46% avoiding it and 28% including it in their diets in 2014 compared to 49% and 24% in 2006; 47% and 23% in 2004; and 45% and 27% in 2002.
Interviews with the respondents were conducted on landline and cellular phones using random-digit-dial methods and each person was chosen based on the most recent birthday in the household. The 2014 results featured the highest percentage of Americans who say they try to avoid drinking soda in their diet. The numbers for the consumption of fruits and vegetables was promising as well, but the researchers noted it doesn't mean these respondents consume enough of them in their everyday diet.
Some sobering facts about soda provided by Kick The Can include: (1) a 20-ounce bottle of soda contains the equivalent of approximately 16 teaspoons of sugar; (2) the average American consumes nearly 42 gallons of sweetened beverages a year, which is the equivalent of 39 extra pounds of sugar; and (3) over the past 30 years adult diabetes rates have nearly tripled, and in the same time period soda consumption doubled.
You can read more about the Gallup Poll, "Americans More Likely to Avoid Drinking Soda Than Before," on the Gallup website.