High fizzy soft drink consumption linked to violence among teens
Teens who drink more than five cans of non-diet, fizzy soft drinks every week are significantly more likely to behave aggressively, suggests research published online in Injury Prevention. This includes carrying a weapon and perpetrating violence against peers and siblings.
US lawyers have successfully argued in the past that a defendant accused of murder had diminished capacity as a result of switching to a junk food diet, a legal precedent that subsequently became known as the "Twinkie Defense" a twinkie being a packaged snack cake with a creamy filling.
The researchers base their findings on 1,878 teens from 22 public schools in Boston, Massachusetts. The teens were part of the Boston Youth Survey, a biennial survey of 9th to 12th graders (14 to 18 year olds).
The teens were asked how many carbonated non-diet soft drinks they had drunk over the past seven days. Intake was measured in cans (355 ml or 12 ounces), and responses categorised according to quantity.
The responses were divided into two groups: those drinking up to four cans over the preceding week (low consumption); and those drinking five or more (high consumption). Just under one in three (30%) respondents fell into the high consumption category.
The researchers then looked at potential links to violent behaviour in this group, by asking if they had been violent towards their peers, a sibling, or a partner, and if they had carried a gun or knife over the past year.
Responses were assessed in the light of factors likely to influence the results, including age and gender, alcohol consumption, and average amount of sleep on a school night.
Those who drank 5 or more cans of soft drinks every week were significantly more likely to have drunk alcohol and smoked at least once in the previous month.
But even after controlling for these and other factors, heavy use of carbonated non-diet soft drinks was significantly associated with carrying a gun or knife, and violence towards peers, family members and partners.
When the findings were divided into four categories of consumption, the results showed a clear dose-response relationship across all four measures.
Just over 23% of those drinking one or no cans of soft drink a week carried a gun/knife, rising to just under 43% among those drinking 14 or more cans. The proportions of those perpetrating violence towards a partner rose from 15% in those drinking one or no cans a week to just short of 27% among those drinking 14 or more.
Similarly, violence towards peers rose from 35% to more than 58%, while violence towards siblings rose from 25.4% to over 43%.
In all, for those teens who were heavy consumers of non-diet carbonated soft drinks, the probability of aggressive behaviour was 9 to 15 percentage points higher - the same magnitude as the impact of alcohol or tobacco - the findings showed. "There may be a direct cause-and-effect-relationship, perhaps due to the sugar or caffeine content of soft drinks, or there may be other factors, unaccounted for in our analyses, that cause both high soft drink consumption and aggression," conclude the authors.
Provided by British Medical Journal
- Poll says drinking frequency on the rise Aug 02, 2006 | not rated yet | 0
- 'Diet' drinks linked to risk of premature birth Jul 28, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Coffee and soft drinks have little or no association with colon cancer risk, study says May 07, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Sugary soft drinks linked to increased risk of gout in men Feb 01, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- Cola may contribute to osteoporosis Oct 07, 2006 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras
Apr 15, 2011 I'd like to open a discussion thread for version 2 of the draft of my book ''Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras'', available online at http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/0810.1019 , and for the...
- More from Physics Forums - Independent Research
More news stories
After studying noise in one French Quarter neighborhood of New Orleans to determine whether or not noise levels exceeded municipal ordinances, Annette Hurley, PhD, Assistant Professor of Audiology at LSU Health Sciences Center ...
Health 4 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
Young children who missed more than half of recommended well-child visits had up to twice the risk of hospitalization compared to children who attended most of their visits, according to a study published today in the American Jo ...
Health 18 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
The individualisation of drug treatments to support patients to self-manage their conditions is a concept that sits at the heart of policy, but a recent study in BMJ Open shows that there is no concrete defini ...
Health 2 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Fun in the summer often means kids spending time in the water, whether at a pool, the beach, a lake or river. A pediatric safety expert at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) stresses proper training ...
Health 3 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
A new way of interpreting information from a low-tech, age-old method used in pregnancy care is expected to more accurately identify potential health issues for mothers and babies.
Health 3 hours ago | not rated yet | 1
Biological processes are generally based on events at the molecular and cellular level. To understand what happens in the course of infections, diseases or normal bodily functions, scientists would need to ...
19 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
The news about youth and diabetes keeps getting worse. The latest data from the national TODAY diabetes study shows that children who develop Type 2 diabetes are at high risk to develop heart, kidney and eye problems faster ...
17 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
In Parkinson's disease, the protein "alpha-synuclein" aggregates and accumulates within neurons. Specific areas of the brain become progressively affected as the disease develops and advances. The mechanism underlying this ...
16 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
Transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) is effective and safe in Asian patients, according to early experience based on first results from a multicentre Asian registry reported at EuroPCR 2013.
14 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—A new study by researchers in the US has shown that an ancient virus can be modified to help in the fight against the simian immunodeficiency virus SIV, which is the equivalent in monkeys ...
2 hours ago | 5 / 5 (3) | 0 |
(Medical Xpress)—Regulating the distribution of power in neurons is done by a system that makes the national electric grid look simple by comparison. Each neuron has several thousand mitochondria confined ...
18 hours ago | 4.9 / 5 (9) | 0 |