Can Drinking Soda Cause Our Children to Behave Badly?
[caption id="attachment_1066" align="alignnone" width="280"] image taken from http://www.spring.org.uk/, property of Ally Mauro[/caption] Yes, soda is not a health tonic. Nothing new there. But can drinking soda influence our behavior? One study proves it possibly can. And not in a good way. Apparently, drinking soda can cause our young children to misbehave. We found this study to be interesting, to say the least. Decide for yourselves. Another great reason to stay away from any type of soda beverage. Found on http://www.spring.org.uk/, written by Jeremy Dean. "A new study of 2,929 5-year-old children has found a link between consuming sodas and bad behavior. The US researchers found that children who drank more soda were more likely to be aggressive, to have attention problems, to get into fights and to destroy other people’s belongings (Suglia et al., 2013). This backs up findings in adolescents that have linked drinking more soda to self-harm, aggression, depression and even suicidal thoughts (Lien et al., 2006; Solnick & Hemenway, 2013). Among the 5-year-olds, 43% consumed at least one soda per day and 4% had 4+ servings per day. Those consuming four or more sodas a day were twice as likely to be involved in bad behaviors as those who drank none. Is soda causing bad behavior? Since the study was based on associations, it doesn't necessarily tell us that drinking soft drinks caused the behavioral problems, but this study does support the possibility. For example, you might think that drinking more soda was a signal that a child had a troubled background. And it was the troubled background that was the real cause of the behavioral problems. The researchers found evidence against this possibility by measuring the following factors and taking them into account: socio-demographic factors, maternal depression, intimate partner violence, and paternal incarceration, The link between drinking soda and behavioral problems persisted with these variables factored in. One factor the authors didn't control for, though, is blood sugar level. It may be that some children with lower blood sugar consume more soda, and it’s the lower blood sugar that causes the bad behavior. Nevertheless the link still needs explaining. So perhaps it is the soda after all, given that: “Caffeine has been linked to insufficient sleep, nervousness and jitters, impulsivity, and risk-taking in children and adolescents, and a study of 9- to 12-year-old children in Brazil found that those with depression were more likely to consume caffeine.” (Suglia et al., 2013). Apart from caffeine, the other possible causative factors in sodas are: high-fructose corn syrup, aspartame, sodium benzoate, and phosphoric or citric acid. Since sodas are hardly a healthy choice for children or adults–they have been associated with obesity, heart disease, asthma and more–it makes sense for parents to limit their intake for both physiological and psychological reasons."