Fizzy soft drinks spur teens’ aggressiveness

October 25th, 2011 - 2:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Oct 25 (IANS) Drinking more than five cans of non-diet fizzy soft drinks every week fosters aggressiveness among teens, new research says.

This includes carrying a weapon and perpetrating violence against peers and siblings, says the study conducted by David Hemenway of Harvard School of Public Health.

“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,” said Hemenway.

Researchers based 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), reports the journal Injury Prevention, according to a statement from the school.

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 categorized 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 percent) respondents fell into the high consumption category.

Those who drank five 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.

Just over 23 percent of those drinking one or no cans of soft drink a week carried a gun or knife, rising to just under 43 percent among those drinking 14 or more cans.

The proportions of those perpetrating violence towards a partner rose from 15 percent in those drinking one or no cans a week, to just short of 27 percent among those drinking 14 or more.

Similarly, violence towards peers rose from 35 percent to more than 58 percent, while violence towards siblings rose from 25.4 percent to over 43 percent.

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