More Americans Trying to Avoid Soda, Sugar

Jul 30, 2014, by Dr. Becky Coats

A recent poll by Gallup shows that Americans are trying to avoid soda and sugar in higher numbers than in the past. These are everyday hazards for your teeth, and hopefully in the future people will experience less decay as a result of avoiding them.

Avoiding Soda

The survey asked just over 1000 Americans about specific foods they either tried to include in their diet, tried to avoid, or just didn’t think about. In 2002, only about 41% of Americans were trying to avoid soda and 36% of them were actively including soda in their diet. However, in 2014, 63% said they were trying to avoid soda, a more than 50% increase.

With its high acidity and sugar content, soda is one of the most damaging foods for your teeth, so cutting out soda would be a good thing. However, it seems Americans aren’t actually able to avoid soda in the same numbers, since a 2012 poll showed that nearly half of Americans (48%) drink one or more sodas a day, and 7% drink four or more a day.

Overall, the average American consumes 44 gallons of soda a year.

Eternal Sugar

Also on the chopping block is sugar, which more Americans are also avoiding. However, it’s not as actively avoided as soda. In the poll, 52% of respondents said they were trying to avoid sugar. This is also an increase from 2002, when 43% of Americans said they were trying to avoid sugar. However, the amount of people incorporating sugar into their diet hasn’t changed significantly since then, dropping from 29% to 27%.

Many People Including Fruits and Vegetables

One of the positive aspects of the survey was that most Americans are trying to include fruits and vegetables into their diet. Ninety-two percent of people are trying to include fruits and 93% are trying to include vegetables.

Of course, this is a great thing from the standpoint of nutrition, but it also represents potential dangers for your teeth. Fruits especially can contain a significant amount of sugar and may be highly acidic. People who eat a lot of fruit need to be aware of the potential risk and take steps to clean acid off teeth to reduce damage.

Overall, these results are very positive, and from our standpoint we hope to be giving out more clean bills of oral health at dental checkups in the future along with fewer tooth-colored fillings and dental crowns.

If you’re overdue for a checkup and are looking for a dentist in Grapevine, please call 817-481-6888 for an appointment at Grapevine Dental Care.