Popular sugary beverage brand Coca-Cola has been struggling to increase or even plateau their profits as Americans and people around the world catch on to the health risks that develop from soda consumption. Around 63 percent of Americans say they actively avoid soda in their daily diet. This is around the same amount that Americans consumed soda in 1986. Even though Coca-Cola continues to increase their marketing efforts to mask the pervasively recognized health effects, their sales have dropped five percent in the year-ago quarter.

So what exactly are these consumer avoiding by decreasing their soda consumption? And should you be following their example? In short, yes! Soda is a sugary beverage that has been linked to numerous health consequences, primarily obesity and cancer. And if that’s not enough for you, here are the dirty details.

Studies Show Soda Connected To Cancer

A recent study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institution has linked the high consumption of sweetened drinks, like ones produced by Coca-Cola, to a possible increased risk of rare cancers. These cancers form in the gallbladder and bile ducts around the liver. Moreover, obesity has been previously linked to these rare cancers. So, not only is soda providing the sugar, but also the obesity.

Diet Soda May Be Even Worse

But what if you absolutely love soda? Are the diet options any better? No, they’re actually not. In fact, they are probably worse for you. Artificial sweeteners that are used in diet options have been consistently linked to weight gain and glucose intolerance. High consumption can lead to an increase in hunger and weight, definitely increasing your risk at obesity, diabetes and other related health issues. One report even shares a story of a woman who had migraines until she stopped drinking diet sodas.

Overall, by switching to diet options, you at increased risk of consuming more calories, gaining weight, and suffering the numerous consequences associated with obesity. Everything that you are already at risk of by consuming high amounts of traditional soda is essentially amplified in diet drinks, an extremely misleading product.

Don’t Do It

Thus, all sugary beverages should ideally be avoided to protect your health. And in the end, it can probably save you money as well. Try drinking filtered water or sparkling water with a squeeze of lemon or lime to slowly wane yourself off of drinking soda. Unsweetened tea or coffee can also be a better alternative and for safer sweetener options use natural products like stevia or Luo Han.

Also, consult your doctor if you are concerned about your sugar intake or already have conditions (or have a family history) of diabetes or weight gain. Eliminating sugary foods can quickly benefit your health and prevent future complications. So, if you’re not one of the 63 percent of Americans actively avoiding soda in their diet you should highly consider making the change. The proof lies in the facts, not Coca-Cola’s marketing schemes.