American Beverage Association Responds to Study Linking Sweetened Beverages and Depression


“We may be in a new year, but there is nothing new about the ways our critics try to attack our industry.  This research is nothing more than an abstract – it has not been peer-reviewed, published or even, at the very least, presented at a scientific meeting.  Furthermore, neither this abstract nor the body of scientific evidence supports that drinking soda or other sweetened beverages causes depression.  Thus, promoting any alleged findings without supporting evidence is not only premature, but irresponsible.”

Additional Background Information:

On the Study:

  • According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), “Depression is a common but serious illness” and “is caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors.”
  • Researchers evaluated beverage consumption among 263,925 adults and “found” that 11,311 adults “self-reported” depression nearly a decade later.  That is roughly 4 percent of those studied.  Even if the methodology is without flaws, this percentage is well within – and actually below – the 6.7 percent noted by the National Institute of Mental Health at NIH as the national average for the U.S. population aged 18 and older in a given year (
  • Furthermore, with only an abstract available, we have no idea which covariates, if any, were controlled for in this study.  To draw any conclusion about depression and the intake of sweetened beverages, several other factors needed to be measured.  Yet, we do not know if the subjects’ genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors were taken into consideration.
  • Importantly, there is no credible scientific evidence linking sweetened beverage consumption to depression – of any kind.