Your health:

In a fizz about teen soda

‘Children who drink fizzy drinks regularly are more likely to carry a gun’ is a headline you’d expect to see in newspaper Make-Believe. However, a recent study has claimed that teenagers who consume large amounts of soft drink are more likely to display violent tendencies. My eyebrows aren’t raised in scepticism at all...

David Hemenway, a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health and his study co-author from University of Vermont Economics, Professor Sara J. Solnick, found a correlation between large amounts of soda drank and violence in teenagers and reported that teens were between nine and fifteen per cent more likely to become aggressive if they drank lots of pop.

The research was conducted in over 1,800 inner-city schools in Boston, USA, and asked children between the age of 14 and 18 to answer questions such as how many non-diet soft drinks they consumed in an average week, whether they carried weapons and whether they had ever been involved or witnessed a violent act. The majority of students were African-American, Hispanic, or interracial and were brought up in similar socioeconomic backgrounds.

According to the results, Hemenway declared that the more soda the pupils drank, the more likely they were to perpetrate violence against peers, against dates or against siblings. The study also revealed that students who drank more fizzy drink were more likely to carry guns.

Hemenway continued to research other factors including gender, ethnicity, age, sleep and alcohol and tobacco use which are heavily associated with violence but said despite these other elements there was still an incredibly strong relationship still between fizzy drinks and violence.

Solnick said that these results could just be indicative that high soda consumption indicates a poor diet in participants which could be the cause of the violence rather than the soft drink itself and The British Soft Drinks Association said the US survey did not take family income or parenting practices into account and so the research was of limited value.

Studies such as this make you question how long it will be before society starts calling for a ban on children’s toys for being too violent. Oh wait….that’s already happened.

Read full news report on the fizzy drinks study

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