On Soda and Social Class

So déclassé, even without labels.
So déclassé, even without labels. Photo: iStockphoto

Mayor Bloomberg’s recent efforts to bar food-stamp recipients from buying soda on the government’s dime bubbled into tricky territory: As a study just released by the NYC Health Department shows, soda-drinking patterns correlate closely with income levels. The DOH looked at which neighborhoods had residents with a soda-a-day habit, and found the least soda drinking happening in prosperous hoods like Greenwich Village and the Upper East Side, and the most in poor neighborhoods including East Flatbush and the South Bronx — the latter also have higher rates of obesity. What is it about soda and socioeconomic class? Vanity Fair recently ran that fascinating look at wealth differences between Coke and Pepsi drinkers (a distinction that’s even felt by Pepsi executives, per VF). Somehow we’ve reached a place where socioeconomic class and soda drinking are inextricable. Just remember: If you make lots of money and want a chic soda to drink, Diet Coke would like to be considered.

’Straw’ poll: Income divides soda drinkers [NYP]