Soft drinks and sugar-sweetened fruit drinks account for half the rise in American's caloric intake since the late 1970s. Beverages don't contribute a feeling of fullness, so people don't compensate for the calories by eating less. The healthiest beverage is water, followed by coffee and tea.
Todd and Jason Alstrom's Web site, beeradvocate.com, has galvanized beer lovers. The craft brew trend has spawned a new kind of connoisseur who is as picky about beer as wine lovers are about their vino.
In the question of beer versus wine for pairing with food, there's not one answer. "There needs to be more of an awareness of the diversity of people's palettes," said Marnie Old, a Philadelphia sommelier. She and Sam Caglagione, founder and Brewmaster of Dogfish Head brewery in Delaware, competed with pairings at a New York event.