Lilian Min
Updated Aug 13, 2016 @ 10:58 am
Credit: @drinkingtherightwater / Instagram /

For years, public health campaigns and laws have been trying to wean Americans, and especially American children, off of soda. And now, something does seem to have changed.

2016 is the first year in which American bought more water than soda.

Credit: Garou: Mark of the Wolves /

In a new report by Euromonitor, which crunches “business intelligence” numbers, this year Americans will buy 27.4 gallons of water and *only* 26.2 gallons of soda on average. The gap between those numbers is projected to only widen.

While this is, on the surface, all good news, the reality of the situation is a little more complicated. While water is definitely lightyears better for your health, the rise of bottled (and canned) water points to a distrust in the American water system, a fear based in reason. There’s also the environmental impact of bottling water, which is mitigated a little by recycling efforts but still a concern.

But, the rise of bottled drinking water is almost definitely part of an overall shift toward health awareness. You can’t walk a mile in most cities now without bumping into a juice place; the notion of eating clean has come into its own in the mainstream; Walmart sells organic, local produce now. Ideally, is buying water over soda the best way to gauge America’s overall health? No, but the real story isn’t that Americans are buying more water, but that they’re buying less soda. That’s something we’ll (water) toast to.