Scientists have recently uncovered a link between soft drink consumption and aggressive behavior, with teens who drink more than 5 cans of soda significantly more likely to carry a weapon and become violent with peers, family, and dates. Published online in the journal Injury Prevention, the University of Vermont study aimed to examine the link between soft drink consumption and violence, including a total of 1,878 teens in the survey.
The researchers noted that previous studies have tied the excess consumption of sugar drinks to poor mental health and diminished social abilities. In the survey of Boston high school students, participants were asked how often they drank soda and whether or not they carried a weapon or engaged in violence. Nearly 30% of all students reported drinking more than 5 cans of non-diet soda per week, placing them into the increased risk category. In multivariate analysis, drinking excessive amounts of soda actually increased the probability of aggressive behavior by between 9 and 15 percent, even after other factors were eliminated such as age, gender, BMI, sleep patterns, alcohol consumption, and having family dinners.
The researchers noted that the affect of excessive soft drink consumption on violence and aggression was similar in magnitude to the impact of using alcohol or tobacco. Researchers even found that the effects continue to build as soft drink consumption increases. As teens consume more and more soft drinks, their tendency towards aggression and violence also increases accordingly.
High-Fructose Corn Syrup, Sugar, or Aspartame may be to Blame
Why are children so heavily affected by soft drink consumption? Well, it may have something to do with the typical ingredients found in most soft drinks. The researchers note that since diet can affect behavior, popular ingredients such as high-fructose corn syrup, sugar, caffeine or aspartame may play a role. It would not be the first time that these ingredients were linked to negative health conditions, many of which are far worse than increased aggression.
High-fructose corn syrup has not only been found to contain carcinogenic mercury, but it also stimulates cancer spread and growth. Aspartame, made using genetically modified bacteria, was found to develop tumors in 67% of all female lab rats.
“There may be a direct cause-and-effect relationship, perhaps due to the sugar or caffeine content of soft drinks,” they theorized.
There are countless reasons to avoid soft drinks that contain high-fructose corn syrup, aspartame, sugar, and caffeine. The increased risk of brain tumors, the genetically modified properties of aspartame, and now the increased risk of violence and aggression. Instead of soda, try juicing fresh fruits and vegetables, or super-hydrating with purified water. Not only will you feel the difference mentally, but your physique will take note of the change as well.