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(18,115 posts)
Sat Aug 17, 2013, 09:17 PM Aug 2013

Soda drinking linked to violent behavior in kids, study finds

In America, people buy more soft drinks per capita than in any other country. Soft drink consumption reaches across all age groups, from the very young to the very old. Although associated with aggression, depression, and suicidal thoughts in adolescents, the relationship between soft drink consumption and younger children had yet to be evaluated. In a new study that delves into this connection, researchers found that problems of aggression, attention difficulties, and withdrawal behavior are all associated with soft drink consumption in young children.

The study, conducted by researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, the University of Vermont, and Harvard School’s of Public Health, appears in The Journal of Pediatrics.

Led by Shakira Suglia, an assistant professor of Epidemiology at Columbia, the team assessed roughly 3,000 5-year-old children who were enrolled in the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, a birth cohort following mother-child pairs from 20 different U.S. cities. As well as reporting on their child’s soft drink consumption, mothers completed a Child Behavior Checklist, which was based on their child’s behavior during the previous two months. The results revealed that 43 percent of the children in the study consumed at least one soft drink serving per day, while four percent consumed four or more servings.

In terms of behavior, the researchers found that aggression, withdrawal, and attention problems were all associated with soda consumption. Despite adjusting for socio-demographic factors, maternal depression, parental abuse, and paternal imprisonment, the results indicate an increase in aggressive behavior with any soft drink consumption. The four percent of children who drank four or more soft drinks per day were more than twice as likely to exhibit destructive behavior, destroying things belonging to others, and physically attacking people. They also suffered from increased attention problems and withdrawal behavior compared to those children who did not consume any soft drinks.

Read more: http://www.sciencerecorder.com/news/soda-drinking-linked-to-violent-behavior-in-kids-study-finds/#ixzz2cHcQlrLf

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Soda drinking linked to violent behavior in kids, study finds (Original Post) morningfog Aug 2013 OP
What kind of parent would let their kid have 4 or more sodas a day? Chemisse Aug 2013 #1
Many parents Rosa Luxemburg Aug 2013 #2
They cross checked many variables: morningfog Aug 2013 #4
So they did the best they could. Chemisse Aug 2013 #10
It's the term "soft drink" Tien1985 Aug 2013 #7
Ahh. I didn't realize all those beverages were included. Chemisse Aug 2013 #9
Why the hating on juice and milk? NickB79 Aug 2013 #11
They say that in the Tien1985 Aug 2013 #13
Small children shouldn't drink fruit juices, either. morningfog Aug 2013 #12
I can attest to this kimbutgar Aug 2013 #3
If they are giving them caffeinated sodas I am even more appalled. dkf Aug 2013 #5
I wish the study summary available distinguished or defined "soft drink." morningfog Aug 2013 #6
Exactly. I remember hearing about some kids being "addicted" to morning dew. dkf Aug 2013 #8
You mean it's not video games? nt Javaman Aug 2013 #14


(30,778 posts)
1. What kind of parent would let their kid have 4 or more sodas a day?
Sat Aug 17, 2013, 09:25 PM
Aug 2013

That feature alone could be a variable that is impossible to control in this type of study.

Nevertheless, I find it wholly believable that high concentrations of sugar and caffeine can cause aggression in these hyped-up kids.l



(18,115 posts)
4. They cross checked many variables:
Sat Aug 17, 2013, 09:40 PM
Aug 2013

"Even after adjusting for sociodemographic factors, maternal depression, intimate partner violence, and paternal incarceration, any soft drink consumption was associated with increased aggressive behavior."


(30,778 posts)
10. So they did the best they could.
Sun Aug 18, 2013, 06:21 AM
Aug 2013

But it is impossible to adjust for parenting styles. The kind of parent who indulges their child with unhealthy beverages all day long may also be a lazy or indifferent parent, (for example). Or may simply be bowled over by the constant demands of an aggressive child!


(920 posts)
7. It's the term "soft drink"
Sat Aug 17, 2013, 09:50 PM
Aug 2013

Hi-C is a soft drink, and so is kool-aid or haiwaiin punch. So if the kid has a soda, a fruit punch, a lemonade flavored kool aid burst and a Capri sun, he/she has had four soft drinks. A parent who wouldn't think of giving their child four sodas during the day might happily hand them a few juice boxes.

Personally, my kid does not get to drink like that. We drink predominately water, so he does too. But most of the other parents I know hate drinking water, and their kids grow up to be just like their parents. So it's some kind of juice in the morning and milk on their cereal, juice boxes and soda during the day and milk at supper.


(30,778 posts)
9. Ahh. I didn't realize all those beverages were included.
Sun Aug 18, 2013, 06:15 AM
Aug 2013

In that case, I have seen a lot of parents who allow that.


(18,976 posts)
11. Why the hating on juice and milk?
Sun Aug 18, 2013, 11:54 AM
Aug 2013
So it's some kind of juice in the morning and milk on their cereal, juice boxes and soda during the day and milk at supper.

The article has nothing bad to say about drinking natural juices or milk, only soft drinks such as soda. In fact, the authors apparently did not group things like Hi-C in with their study, as they specifically mention only soda: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-204_162-57598832/soda-may-make-children-more-likely-to-destroy-things-attack-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.


(920 posts)
13. They say that in the
Sun Aug 18, 2013, 08:14 PM
Aug 2013

Interview, but their research says "soft-drinks", which does include those despite whatever they are pushing at the moment. It's either poor/lazy reporting or poor/lazy science. Someone mentions the same thing a few comments down.

As for fruit juice, lots of them are considered soft drinks and most of them are pure junk. Check out the sugar content--many are as high as soda, and its not the natural sugar, either. Better to give the kid water and let them eat fruit, or, make your own juice if it's a must-have.

Milk was included because I was making the point that a perfectly normal parent (someone who makes sure their child gets two glasses of milk a day, for instance) may also be giving them too many soft drinks as well.

I'm far too addicted to dairy for milk hate, but according to Harvard, most of us (I am definitely in this crowd) overdo diary.


So those two glasses a day become too much if your kid also has a yogurt for snack, a sandwich with cheese for lunch and spinach encliadas with cheese on top at supper. Much less ice cream as a treat after dinner.

That was the kind of point I'm making. You can think you're being at least mildly healthy, and still be f*cking it all up.



(18,115 posts)
12. Small children shouldn't drink fruit juices, either.
Sun Aug 18, 2013, 02:48 PM
Aug 2013

Far too much sugar and nothing beneficial they couldn't get from eating fruits and veggies.


(20,528 posts)
3. I can attest to this
Sat Aug 17, 2013, 09:30 PM
Aug 2013

My mother used to drink sodas all the time at 85 years she started to show extreme signs of dementia. She would be aggressive and more depressed. It got to the point when she called me i dreaded her calls. Her memory was getting worst. She fell and hit her head and I was able to take over her affairs and get a full time caregiver to live with her. She had been a widow for 10 years . I told the caregiver to wean her off sodas and offer her water more. She is 91 now still with dementia but can walk up and down her stairs, walks fine and still lives in her home. I think doing away with sodas has extended her life. My husband and I also quit drinking sodas aound the same time and we both are healthier. Our son who is on the autistic spectrum has never drank soda, though he has his issues we both feel he would have been worst. And he is healthy and does have weight issues which is common with his classmates.



(18,115 posts)
6. I wish the study summary available distinguished or defined "soft drink."
Sat Aug 17, 2013, 09:46 PM
Aug 2013

These findings aren't surprising if it was for caffeinated soft drinks. They are a little more surprising if the effects remained with caffeine free soft drinks.



(37,305 posts)
8. Exactly. I remember hearing about some kids being "addicted" to morning dew.
Sat Aug 17, 2013, 09:54 PM
Aug 2013

Now that is bad.

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