There are fringe groups of Environmentalists and Health Nuts, who seem to forget or not realize the advancements we have made over the last couple thousand years in providing clean and much more healthy drinking water. There is a reason why our forefathers drank a lot of beer and hard cider, it was healthier then drinking water. The alcohol which damaged their livers and took decades off their lifespan, was a better option of drinking fresh water which could have microbes that could kill you the next week. Now we had great improvement in water purification technologies so clean drinking water is possible and better for you then alcohol. Which then leads us to the 1920's prohibition, where many people who were employed to serve alcohol either had to work black market, go to a different career, or adapt. Those who adapted, help make things as Malted Milk Shakes, and Soda-Pop and other "Soft" drinks. Where they could use their now clean water to make new drinks which is what they were good at. Now these soft drinks were speciality drinks, were candy not meant for constant consumption, so they were not targeted towards to being part of your daily diet. Then we get to those silly Baby Boomers who never wanted to grow up. So their culture rejected all the stuffy restrictions of their parents and tried to be young and hip. Thus causing them to drink more soda, and avoiding classifying it as kids stuff, then we get to their kids, where they felt it was OK to feed their children this as part of their normal grocery items. So the Gen X got hooked on the taste.
Now, Soda isn't like tobacco where it is an addictive substance, it is much easier to quit the soda habit/substitute it with something else. We Americans have a problem of overdoing things that we like. When we smoke we smoke packs of cigarettes a day not one every few days. When we drink soda it is part of our diet not just a random treat. If we don't like meat then we go full vegan, if we like meat, then we reject all vegetarian meals. When our excess goes out of control, it is easier to blame the product maker, then ourselves for going in excess.