Researchers have found a statistical association between violence by teenagers and how many sodas they drink in a week.
The study found that inner-city Boston high school student who drank more than five cans of non-diet, soft drinks every week were between nine and 15-percent likelier to engage in an aggressive act compared with counterparts who drank less.
“What we found was that there was a strong relationship between how many soft drinks that these inner-city kids consumed and how violent they were, not only in violence against peers but also violence in dating relationships, against siblings,” said David Hemenway, a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health.”
Hemenway stressed that they would need further studies to prove or disprove that higher consumption of sweet sodas caused violent behaviour.
“The new study was based on answers to questionnaires filled out by 1,878 public-school students aged 14 to 18 in the inner Boston area, where Hemenway said crime rates were much higher than in the wealthier suburbs. The overwhelming majority of respondents were Hispanic, African-American or mixed; few were Asian or white.”
“What emerged, said Hemenway, was evidence of “dose response,” in other words, the more soda was consumed, the likelier the tendency towards violence.”
But here is the important paragraph:
” ‘We don’t know why (there is this strong association). There may be some causal effect but it’s also certainly plausible that this is just a marker for other problems — that kids who are violent for whatever reason, they tend to smoke more, they tend to drink more alcohol and they tend to maybe drink more soft drinks. We just don’t know.’ ”
So what do you think? Do you think soda is causing the violence or do those kids just happen to drink a lot of soda? What do you make of this study?