News / USA

Children Who Drink Lots of Soda More Likely to Be Aggressive

A 64-ounce drink is displayed alongside other soft drink cup sizes n New York, May 31, 2012.
A 64-ounce drink is displayed alongside other soft drink cup sizes n New York, May 31, 2012.
Jessica Berman
A new study has found that young children who drink four or more servings of soft drinks per day are more likely to show signs of aggression than youngsters who don’t drink soda.  

Researchers asked the mothers of approximately 3,000 5-year-olds to keep track of how many servings of soft drinks their children drank per day during a two-month period and complete a checklist of their children’s behavior.

The data showed that 43 percent of the youngsters consumed at least one serving of soda each day. At the other end, 4 percent of the youngsters had four or more sodas.

Epidemiologist Shakira Suglia at Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health in New York City conducted the study with colleagues from the University of Vermont and Harvard University School of Public Health. She says they found that children who consumed the most soda were more than twice as likely as those who drank no soda to display disruptive behaviors.

“For the children who consumed four or more soft drinks per day, we see an association between aggressive behaviors, attention problems and withdrawn behaviors," she said. "This is after adjusting for a number of socio-demographic factors, as well as whether the child was consuming candy and sweets, their fruit juice consumption on a typical day, as well as some other social conditions that may be occurring in the home that may be related to those behaviors as well as parenting styles and practices.”

The data were compiled as part of the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, which follows 5,000 low income mother-child pairs from birth in 20 U.S. cities.

Disruptive behaviors noted by the investigators included destroying possessions belonging to others, getting into fights and physically attacking people.  

Among adolescents, studies have found the highest sugar consumption in those who carry weapons and engage in more negative social behaviors.

Suglia says it’s not clear at this point why young children who drink a lot of soda act out in inappropriate ways.

“We can’t prove that this is a direct cause and effect relationship," she said. "Having said that, there are a lot of ingredients in soda, a lot of ingredients that have not been examined in relation to behavior."  

Shakira Suglia suggests that one of those ingredients - caffeine, which is a mild stimulant - could be causing young children to engage in disruptive behavior.

An article linking soda consumption and aggressive behavior in young children is published in The Journal of Pediatrics.

You May Like

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelteri
X
Scott Bobb
July 30, 2014 8:16 PM
Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video A Summer Camp for All the World

VIDEO: During workshops and social gatherings, the Global Youth Village summer camp encourages young people to cooperate and embrace their differences, while learning to communicate with people from other countries. VOA's Deborah Block has more.
Video

Video From Cantankerous Warlock to Incorruptible Priest, 'Harry Potter' Actor Embraces Diverse Roles

He’s perhaps best known as Mad Eye Moody, the whimsical wizard in the Harry Potter franchise. But character actor Brendan Gleeson's resume includes dozens of films, and he embraces all the characters he inhabits with equal passion. In an interview with VOA’s Penelope Poulou, Gleeson discussed his new drama "Calvary" and his secret to success.

AppleAndroid