Whether you are paying with food stamps, credit card or cold hard cash, a report from USDA study of  2011 point of sale data shows soda is the biggest seller at grocery store checkout!

Paying for groceriesUnited States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has published a November 2016 report after studying the Point of Sale data at grocery stores across the country in 2011. Focusing on the Food Stamp Program, the USDA study reveals that Food Stamp households and Non Food Stamp households have similar buying patterns. Both groups spent more money on soft drinks than on any other item! See: https://www.fns.usda.gov/sites/default/files/ops/SNAPFoodsTypicallyPurchased-Summary.pdf

This is somewhat discouraging, since soft drinks contain a lot of sugar, and are seen as driving an increase in the incidence of  obesity, diabetes, heart disease and gout,  with resulting problems for American families.

 See: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/healthy-drinks/soft-drinks-and-disease/

How much sugar in a can of soda? A regular size can of Coca Cola, 12 ounces, contains about 9 teaspoons of sugar. Think about that. If you had a cup of coffee, and took it with sugar, you would put one or two teaspoons of sugar to flavor your coffee. Can you visualize going back into the sugar bowl nine times to sugar your coffee? NINE teaspoons? One can of soda?

Soda bottles

The extensive USDA point of sale study finds that soda is the biggest item money wise, in the food budget on Non Food Stamp households  and Food Stamp households. Yes basically on average all the households in the country.

One of the most popular celebrities in the country, Warren Buffet, is a consistent champion of soft drink consumption, often being photographed with a can of Coca Cola in his hand. This is understandable considering that his company, Berkshire Hathaway owns 9% of the Coca Cola Company with its massive 400 million share investment in the Coca Cola Company. Now that consumption of soft drinks has become a costly and serious public health problem, causing real harm to individuals and families, it is a little surprising that Buffet retains a cuddly status as everyone’s favorite rich guy.

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John L. Keefe
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Founding Attorney, Massachusetts Social Security Disability Lawyer
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