Pop or water? Local dietitian encouraged by our choice

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – When you’re thirsty, do you reach for a pop or water? Our choice has changed in a big way.

For the first time, bottled water passed pop as the number one drink in the U.S.

Americans drank 39 gallons of water last year, almost a full gallon more than carbonated soda.

The switch was a long time coming but Dietician Laura Zavadil said she thinks people are getting it now.

“We don’t need to be wasting empty calories on things like pop and coffee drinks,” Zavadil said.

Zavadil recommends drinking half of your body weight in ounces each day. So, if you weigh 100 pounds that would be five 10 ounce glasses of water a day.

She feels water is an important part of a diet, whether you’re trying to lose weight or not.

“It does need to be part of your daily life. It is just as important as the fruits and vegetables that you eat, the fitness that you do to keep your heart healthy. Water is right there,” Zavadil said.

America’s thirst for water has been filling up bottles for ten years. We were only drinking five gallons of water a year in 1986 but doubled that by 1996. Then in 2006, it reached 21 gallons a year. Last year, the average person drank 39 gallons of water.

The big question now is can Americans keep it up?

“I think they are starting to see that they are feeling better,” Zavadil said. “With the wasted calories in pop, you don’t really get anything from those calories. You are not gaining nutrition from it, you are gaining weight from it. I think people are starting to see that.”

Zavadil said don’t overlook tap water. As long as your water is clean, it is just as good as bottled water and a hundred times cheaper.