When it was first invented, soda pop was a treat most people had once in a while for special occasions.
Now it's a daily fixture in American life -- in bright containers glowing inside vending machines, chugged from 32-ounce bucket-like containers at self-service stations and served as the default beverage in fast-food meals.
In today's carbonation nation, half of the U.S. population over age 2 consumes sugary drinks daily, according to a report released by National Center for Health Statistics.
The sugary drinks include sodas, sweetened waters, and energy, sports and fruit beverages. Not included in the total were diet drinks, 100% fruit juices, sweetened teas and flavored milk. The report states that sugary drinks have been linked to "poor diet quality, weight gain, obesity, and in adults, type 2 diabetes."
Male teens are the most frequent consumers and guzzle about 252 to 273 calories every day from various drinks, the report says. Their one-day consumption is more than half the weekly intake suggested by the American Heart Association, which recommends no more than three 12-ounce cans of soda in one week (equivalent to 450 calories).
The consumption of such sugary drinks has increased over the last 30 years, the report stated.