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Fizzy Soft Drinks Linked To Teen Violence

| Filed under: FoodScience!

Soda Link Violence

This seems like more of a coincidence to us, or that there is some sort of third factor that leads to both violence and a taste for soft drinks rather than soft drinks being a signifier of violent teens, but here's what's been found:

If teens have been drinking 5 or more cans of say, non-diet soda, they were more likely to carry weapons or participate in violent assaults. The link could be casual, but, nothing is being ruled out at this point.

This survey was based on 1,878 teenagers aged 14 to 18 from 22 state schools in Boston. One of the researchers says:

"There was a significant and strong association between soft drinks and violence. 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."

We're not buying it completely, and we're not alone in our skepticism. A clinical psychologist at the University of Liverpool hit our main concerns:

"The causes of violence in young people are complicated and this work is presenting an overly simplistic interpretation of the role of 'soft' drinks. There are a large number of known risk factors that would contribute to violent behaviour that have nothing to do with the consumption of these drinks.

"We know, in many areas of human behaviour that correlation does not imply causation. We also know that poor diet is associated with a range of negative health and social outcomes. This study is unsurprising. But, more importantly, it fails to address 'third-variable' issues that could explain the findings - kids exposed to different social, parental or educational backgrounds might therefore have different diets and different attitudes to aggression, without any direct causal link."

Bingo, and that's how we feel. Though, we can't rule anything out and we aren't totally opposing the findings — they are super interesting and we'd like to see further studies on this!

What do U think?? Do U rage out after a few cans of Dr. Pepper??

[Image via AP Images.]

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