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Per Capita Consumption of Selected Beverages by Type: 1980 to 2006 (in gallons)

In twenty five years, how have drinking habits changed in the United States?

  • On average, each person drinks 6.6 fewer gallons of milk and the milk that they do drink is more likely to be of the low-fat variety.
  • A little bit more tea and slightly less coffee. The less coffee thing kinda surprises me.
  • A lot more bottled water, but I’m not sure what that means since there is no category for tap water.
  • More soda overall, but almost all of that increase is in diet. Surprising, but regular soda intake has not really increased.

For all the “binge drinking” fears promulgated in the media, slightly less alcohol per capita…

Beverage Type 1980 2006
Nonalcoholic 105.5 154.0
Milk (plain and flavored) 27.6 21.0
Whole Milk 17.0 6.7
Reduced-fat, light, and skim Milk 10.5 14.3
Tea 7.3 8.4
Coffee 26.7 24.3
Bottled Water 2.7 27.6
Carbonated soft drinks 33.6 50.6
Diet Soda (NA) 15.9
Regular Soda (NA) 34.6
Fruit juices 7.6 8.2
Fruit drinks, cocktails, and ades (NA) 13.5
Beer 24.3 21.6
Wine 2.1 2.3
Distilled spirits 2.0 1.4