Archive for August, 2013

Soda Causes Childhood Behavioral Problems

Yep. You saw the title. Add that to your list of soda pros and cons. Hopefully your list of cons is miles ahead of pros.

A recent study in the American Journal of Pediatrics found that soda contributes to behavioral problems such as increased aggression, withdrawal, and difficulty paying attention in kiddos as young as 5. In fact, a multiple of studies have established such a link. A 2011 study published by the journal Injury Prevention reports similar findings in teens, in which teens that drank more than 5 cans of soda per day were more likely to have carried a weapon or demonstrated more violence against peers. (Link to study: http://injuryprevention.bmj.com/content/early/2011/10/14/injuryprev-2011-040117.abstract) There is also a correlation to suicidal thoughts. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23829470)

These new findings are exacerbated by the fact that: ( Time Magazine)

In the latest study, published in the Journal of Pediatrics, parents reported that 43% of the 5-year olds participating in the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study drank at least one serving of soda every day, and 4% consumed four or more servings daily.

 

In order to evaluate the relationship between the sugared drinks and behavior problems, the researchers adjusted for several factors that can influence behavior, including their mothers’ depression and the children’s diets. Even after this adjustment, the scientists found a significant relationship between more soda consumption and aggressive behaviors that included destroying other people’s belongings, getting into fights and physically attacking others.

What makes soda-drinking kids so unruly? “Soft drinks are highly processed products containing carbonated water, high-fructose corn syrup, aspartame, sodium benzoate, phosphoric or citric acid, and often caffeine, any of which might affect behavior,” the authors write.

Caffeine is a likely culprit, since other studies connected the compound with changes in hormone levels that could alter the way still developing brains perceive and evaluate risk. Because caffeine can act on so many brain systems, but there is still little information on its influence on young children, the FDA is currently investigating the safety of caffeine that is added to food products consumed by kids and adolescents, like drinks, chips and even gum.