By Aly Walansky
Updated January 29, 2016
Credit: © Kaspian / Barcroft Media /Barcoft Media / Getty Images

Despite many of us trying to cut back on sugar and soft drinks by consuming smaller portions, soda sales aren’t truly feeling the effects. Apparently, we are spending more for less.

A Wall Street Journal report says that while U.S. store sales of Coca-Cola fell in volume in 2015, it only dipped .1 percent on a dollar basis. People are still buying soda to get their fix, but they are buying it in smaller cans that actually cost more per ounce. For example, a search of FreshDirect reveals that a 6-count package of 12-ounce Coca-Cola runs $3.49 while an 8-count package of 7.5-ounce cans runs $4.59. That means .0765 cents an ounce for the smaller size cans, but .0484 cents an ounce for the larger size cans.

Ultimately, we’re being charged more for less and we seem to be reveling in it. Are we, as a people, willing to spend more for less, if it comes in adorable, convenient packaging and portioning? It seems so.

“It has been my experience that helping people make small changes that become lifelong is the key to permanent weight control. Asking someone who is accustomed to drinking a liter of soda daily to suddenly stop drinking soda sets most up for failure. However, asking this same person to reduce to one or two small cans—and choosing when they want to consume these—can be empowering and promote weight loss. Additionally, if this method can be used in one area successfully, say soda, it can be used to decrease other larger portions of food. A 1/2 cup of most types of ice cream contains approximately 150 calories. The same supersize version can easily contain four times that amount. That means every time they are making the smaller serving size choice, they will be saving upwards of 450 calories—this can quickly add up to permanent weight loss,” says Lisa D. Ellis, a New York–based Nutrition Therapist and Registered Dietician.

The most recent U.S. dietary guidelines recommended limiting daily consumption of added sugars to around 200 calories; that’s fewer calories than you’ll find in a 20-ounce bottle of Coke, meaning a smaller package makes sense for those watching their sugar and calorie intake. That being said, the best choice is still to opt for a beverage other than soda. Water is king.