Bucking a historic trend, Americans reportedly consumed more bottled water than soda in 2016.

According to the Beverage Marketing Corporation, bottled water sales volume grew to 12.8 billion gallons, resulting in about 39 gallons of bottled water per person, as opposed to the estimated 38.5 gallons of soft drinks.

Though this raises concerns for whether Americans are efficiently recycling the materials used to package bottled water, the report offers hope for tackling the surging obesity rate countrywide.

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Obesity, which affects over 3 million Americans, increases the risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and arthritis. It also costs taxpayers and individuals over $200 billion in medical costs annually.

So while the excessive use of plastic may be worrisome for the environment, the growing popularity of bottled water illustrates a trend toward healthier lifestyle choices.

“Bottled water effectively reshaped the beverage marketplace,” Michael C. Bellas, Beverage Marketing’s CEO said in a statement. “Where once it would have been unimaginable to see Americans walking down the street carrying plastic bottles of water, or driving around with them in their cars’ cup holders, now that’s the norm.”

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