ABC news reports that the average American guzzles about 50 gallons of soda per person, per year. In fact, soda has become the primary source of calories in the American diet.
But the evidence is adding up that Americans' obsession with soda is catching up to them in the form of increased risk of obesity, diabetes and osteoporosis.
While soda if full of empty calories and sugar, water is 100 percent calorie-free and has many advantages over soda.
The Mayo Clinic reports that you gain weight when you eat more calories than you burn off. Soda, being relatively high in calories, can contribute to this energy imbalance.
According to LIVESTRONG's Daily Plate website, a 12 oz. can of Coke contains 140 calories.
On the other hand, unflavored water is calorie-free.
CNN reports that obesity is a major public health problem that's partly caused by soda intake. ABC News says consuming two 20 oz. sodas per day can lead to 52 pounds of weight gain over the course of one year.
Researcher David Ludwig of the Harvard School of Public Health says soda intake is closely linked to obesity risk. On the other hand, water, being calorie-free, does not increase the risk of obesity. In fact, website Natural News suggests that water may be able to partly offset obesity risk and facilitate weight loss.
Sugar has been tied to a number of health problems, such as diabetes and cavities. The Daily Plate says a single can of Coke contains 39 grams of sugar, mostly in the form of high fructose corn syrup, or HFCS. However, water contains no sugar.
Diet soda seems to be just as unhealthy as the real stuff, according to website Science Daily, which reports that a heavy intake of artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, or NutraSweet, and saccharin, or Sweet N Low, may contribute to weight gain.
For many, the switch from soda to water is difficult because they miss the sweetness that soda provides. To make water more flavorful, try adding sliced lemon or a teaspoon of 100 percent fruit juice.
Appetite and Weight Loss
Science Daily reports that water intake may curb appetite--something soda doesn't do. The website says drinking 16 oz. of water before a meal is enough to reduce appetite and overeating and that if you make drinking water a habit, it can be effective for weight loss.