Soft drinks linked to aggressive behavior in kids

Study: children who drank the most soda were more than twice as likely to destroy others' belongings.

Who would have thought that mixing water, sugar, flavoring and adding some fizz would become such a hit?

That's what soda is. And we've been drinking it since the 19th century.

Soft drinks have been linked to increasing incidence of obesity, diabetes, dental cavities and malnutrition. Since soda gained popularity in the 1970s, children have been observed to drink twice as much soft drink than milk.

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Study on 3,000 kids

This could explain the rising levels of hyperactivity and aggression in our youth today.

Dr. Shakira Suglia, an epidemiologist at the College of Public Health in Columbia University, embarked on a study to prove that the amount of soda a child consumes is linked to increased negative behavior.

Enrolled in the program were 3,000 children who were monitored from the time they were 2 years old until they turned 5. Parents were asked to record the amount of soda their kids consumed every day, observe them and fill up a Children Behavior Checklist.

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More soda linked to attention deficit
The results showed that 43% of the children drank at least 1 serving of soda per day, with 4% of the participants drinking 4 or more servings per day.

Children who drank 1-4 servings of soda per day had significantly higher aggressive measurement scores than the ones who did not drink any soft drink at all.

Furthermore, the ones who drank 2 or more servings had higher withdrawn behavior scores.

Those who consumed more than 4 servings per day had the most incidence of attention deficit.

Soft drinks have no nutritional value.
Soft drinks have no nutritional value.

Data analyses showed that the children who consumed the highest levels of soda were more than twice as likely to destroy others' belongings, physically attack people, or get into fights.

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Limit consumption

This new data suggests that consumption of even 1 soft drink per day may be associated with increased negative behavior in young children.

Dr. Suglia noted that "Certainly water or milk is more nutritious and a better alternative. Our advice is consistent with what is already out there: for the very young kids, any soda is not a healthy option. And even for adolescents, I think parents should really limit the amount of soda their kids are drinking."

Previous researches have already established an association between soft drink consumption and aggression, depression, and suicidal thoughts in adolescents, this study focused on the possible links between soda and negative behaviors in young children.

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Reaction from soft drink group

The American Beverage Association was quick in issuing a response to this study.

"This is a big step to suggest that drinking soda causes these or any other behavioral issue,” they said. “Science does not support that conclusion. More importantly, our member companies do not promote or market the consumption of soft drinks to children in the age group examined in this study."

Whether the study is accurate in associating negative behavior in kids to intake of these carbonated drinks, the fact still remains that soda has no nutritional benefits and may even cause more harm than good to our growing children.

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