The American Beverage Association issued a response Tuesday to a study that claims sales of sugary sodas have dropped in Howard County.
Over the last four years, The Horizon Foundation's Howard County Unsweetened campaign has focused on curbing the consumption of sugary drinks.
The Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity studied the effort to find out if that meant fewer people were buying sugary beverages at grocery stores. From 2012 through 2014, researchers found the sales of sugar-sweetened drinks dropped 20 percent.
The American Beverage Association, though, questioned the methodology used in the study, and pointed out that nearly half of the beverages sold contain zero calories.
Clear calorie labels are also on the front of every can, bottle and package, so consumers can have easy-to-understand information at their fingertips, the association said.
Here is the ABA's statement in full:
America's beverage companies are committed to helping people cut the calories and sugar they get from beverages because we too want a healthy America. But tackling obesity requires a holistic approach that looks at the entire diet, not just the 6 percent of calories that comes from beverages," the association said in a statement. America's leading beverage companies are doing the hard work of trying to change behaviors that can lead to obesity. Our latest and most ambitious effort to date - the Balance Calories Initiative - is aimed at driving a reduction in the sugar and calories consumed from beverages across America. By engaging with prominent public health and community organizations we are working to change behavior in communities with some of the highest obesity rates in the country, such as parts of Los Angeles, New York City, Little Rock, the Mississippi Delta and rural Alabama. We're providing the new beverage options, information and encouragement to help people cut back on calories and sugar.