The article shares some facts about soft drinks that you many not be aware:
"A typical 20-ounce soda contains 15-18 teaspoons of sugar and upwards of 240 calories. A 64-ounce fountain cola drink could have up to 700 calories. People who drink this 'liquid candy' do not feel as full as if they had eaten the same calories from solid food and do not compensate by eating less."
In addition, another study has shown that the rapid rise of the incidence of type II diabetes is linked to consumption of sugar. Learn more here.
Clearly, the message is to stay away from sugar, especially sugar in the form of beverages. One good idea is to start working towards getting the recommended eight glasses of water a day - and NOT from bottles (that's a whole different topic). Many of us are dehydrated from not drinking enough water and often our mind will interpret dehydration as hunger. So, drinking your eight glasses of water each day has multiple benefits: it gives you proper hydration, it helps prevent you from overeating, it saves you money, and it keeps you away from the sugary drinks that contribute to chronic diseases and death.
Please don't substitute diet drinks for the sugary drinks. The sweeteners found in those drinks tend to increase hunger, so they don't prevent the consumption of extra calories. Plus, these drinks can also contribute to dehydration as you're not as likely to adequately hydrate yourself with water.
As a side note, the USA Today article linked above mentions that while places like New York City are taking the obesity and "sugar" epidemic seriously, some places continue put corporate interests and profits over health and life. According to the article, on Monday, Mississippi "signed into a law legislation that prohibits cities and counties from restricting or banning the size of soft drinks, or from requiring that restaurants post calorie counts or other nutritional information. Mississippi is the most obese state in the nation." I'm speechless...