Health + Safety

Study: Soda May Make Children More Likely to Destroy Things, Attack Others

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Studies of young soda drinkers often focus on added risk for childhood obesity. But now, a new study suggests the sweet stuff could actually be making kids more violent.

Public health researchers looked at thousands of 5-year-olds, and found the more sugary soft drinks they consumed, the more likely they were to inflict damage and hurt others.

“We found a significant relation with soda consumption with the overall measure of aggression and with the three specific behaviors we felt were most indicative of aggression: destroying things belonging to others, getting into fights and physically attacking people,” wrote the authors, led by researcher Dr. Shakira Suglia, an assistant professor of epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health in New York City, said in a written statement.

For the study, researchers at Columbia University, Harvard and the University of Vermont analyzed about 3,000 kids — mostly black and Hispanic children — from 20 large U.S. cities. They had been enrolled in a study that followed them since birth, in which moms were given surveys about their child’s behavior.

More than 40 percent of the children had at least one soft drink per day, while only 4 percent consumed four or more.

But, the more soda kids drank, the more problems with attention, aggression and withdrawn behaviors were reported.

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