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Researchers: Soda Induces Teen Violence

October 26, 2011 by  

Researchers: Soda Induces Teen Violence

A behavioral study of Boston-area high school students provides a link between high levels of consumption of carbonated non-diet soft drinks and violent behavior. Researchers call their findings the “Twinkie Defense,” relating diminished mental capacity to junk food.

The study published in Injury Prevention was the result of researcher interviews with 1,878 teens from 22 high schools. The teens were asked how many cans of carbonated non-diet soft drinks they regularly consume and the data divided into two groups: those who had consumed fewer than four cans over the preceding week (low consumption), and those who had consumed five or more (high consumption).

Another line of questioning in the survey analyzed possible indicators of violent behavior: Had the students been in violent altercations with peers, siblings or partners? Had they carried a gun or knife during the past year?

The information indicates that students who drank higher numbers of soft drinks were about 20 percent more likely to have carried weapons, 12 percent more likely to have been violent toward a partner, 23 percent more likely to exhibit violence toward peers and 17.6 percent more likely to be violent toward siblings.

Overall, heavy soft drink consumers were 9 to 15 percentage points more likely to be violent, concordant with figures linking alcohol and tobacco use to violence in teens.

“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,” the study’s authors conclude.

Sam Rolley

Staff writer Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After learning about many of the biases present in most modern newsrooms, Rolley became determined to find a position in journalism that would allow him to combat the unsavory image that the news industry has gained. He is dedicated to seeking the truth and exposing the lies disseminated by the mainstream media at the behest of their corporate masters, special interest groups and information gatekeepers.

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  • Barbara

    More than relating to soda consumption, i have observed that teens that drink a lot of soda do not have a strong parent figure that says no in their life. More related to divorce and lack of parental control.

    • Greg

      That’s insane. Regardless of a parent saying “No,” if a teen wants soda they’re going to get it.

  • Mike Houst

    Poor conclusions on the part of the study authors. Correlation is not the same as cause and effect.

    • eddie47d

      That could be but this survey doesn’t surprise me. Teens go for the extreme sodas these days such as Jolt which has more caffeine and sugar.

    • s c

      This is true, M, but you shouldn’t be so quick to poo poo a topic that needs to be explored. Am I right in assuming that you’ve never been a teacher? You need to remember that a typical teen is a hormone-driven paradox. Kids need to be guided [NOT by Uncle Scam or his accomplices]. Being involved in sports or diving into academics can compensate for emotions that are already supercharged via hormones.
      The idea that youngster should be allowed to drink lots of pop makes as much sense as pouring gasoline on a fire. If a kid has parental guidance, then the kid has a chance to survive his/her teen years. If a kid is allowed to whatever feels good (sounds good, tastes good, etc.), we shouldn’t expect good results.
      Short of pouring millions into another crapola government project, this topic needs to be explored so other researchers, MDs and parents KNOW what’s going on. The topic goes to the heart of good health vs. a would-be timebomb. Wanna bet that homeschooling will all but eliminate teen violence?

      • Dennis48e

        One can of soda a day is not Lots of Pop. I have known pletny of kids that have a cola for breakfast, one for lunch, one after school, and more between then and bed time and none have shown aggressive tendencies. There is also a fallacy in the study that being the carrying of a knife. I have carried a knife every day of my life since I was 8 or 9 years old and do not show any of the “violent traits” as they define them. Another fallacy is the term ‘carrying a gun” I carried one plenty as a kid. I carried it when I went target shooting and when I went hunting. While I never did it I knew many kids who carried their gun to school then went straight from school to the woods to hunt. According to the conclucion of study all of those kids were showing aggressive tendencies. That is BULL.

    • Mike in MI

      Right! Mike H. -
      This social studies behavioral “science-by-consensus” crap is exactly the level of quality as we’re getting out of the green-weenies buggers trying to pawn off the ecoillogical programs. They WILL NOT stop until they control YOU and everything about YOU…if they can.
      I get angrier by the day. But, every day r4eflection makes me that much more aware of the devilishness of this stuff and how much the Devil is having to expose himself and his nature through his people who move his sludge around at the top.
      Then I realize the only thing I can do against that is do what I Timothy 2:1-4 says. Pray for the leaders that WE may live quiet and peaceable lives in all Godliness and Honesty (simplicity). I believe it – it is up to God to carry out his Word – His faithful Word. Helps me sleep peacefully.

  • Ellen

    I think it is more likely that kids with poor self control and impulse control are more likely to drink more sodas. The sodas are not the cause, but just another action of these kids. Many probably come from homes where discipline is lacking – which would explain the excess soda drinking. We can also add to this the number of parents who gladly drive their preteens to Starbucks to hang out with friends. Kids should not drink coffee, but this generation of parents are inept. Many can’t even cook and resort to meals from boxed mixes. These kids don’t receive good guidance or discipline at home and schools don’t discipline anymore.

  • Sam I am

    I drink tons of the knowingly toxic Diet Coke that will probably net me diabetes or cancer in 20 years, but I don’t give a crap because in all liklihood, I will probbaly die in 5-10 years in a political concentration camp or on the battlefields of Civil War 2. I am mad as hell and ready to enter the hot LZ. I am not getting the hell out of Dodge, but charging straight in. I have no idea if my anger is due to Diet Coke, or violent video games, or just millions of years of primal instinct built into my DNA, but our species is under attack by our own elitist kind and I am prepared to fight to the death if necessary. People talk about agressive feelings like they are bad. If men didn’t have agressive feelings, we would have died out long ago, by trying to out run the wild cats (impossible) instead of getting ANGRY, picking up that SPEAR and THRUSTING into the HEART of the LION in righteous FURY. FIGHT OR FLIGHT AND SOMETIMES FLEEING DOESN’T WORK FOR US (top sprinters can maybe just touch 25 mph for a few milliseconds on an engineered high tech track with cleated ultra light weight shoes, where as most wild animals can easily maintain this speed and more on very rough natural land)

    One thing is sure. Fair Weather patriots can go sit this one out. We will see how much these “teapartiers” and “Occupy Wall street” protesters have in their sacks when the 50 cals and ferocious barking dogs with police start showing up.

    • Sam I am

      Just so I am not taken out of context, unlike the warmongering Dems and Repubs in office, I only beleive in 100% reactive violence only in STRICT SELF DEFENSE. I will not shoot first, but if you do shoot first, you better make darn well sure you hit my brain and knock me out, as I will then fight to the very last until all the blood is compeltely drained from my body.

      • Jay

        Sam, i really enjoy reading posts. You put a smile on my face. Go get em tiger!

  • Wayne

    Once again researchers missed the mark and make a connection that is not relevant. Example of bad conclusion and misuse of statistics:

    There is a direct correlation between ice cream consumption in New Delhi and violent crime in New York City. Obviously ice cream causes violence. The truth is that New Delhi and NewYork are on the same lattitude line and when it is hot in New Delhi it is hot in New York, when people are hot nad uncomfortable they are more proned to violence.

    Remember “Statistics never lie but liars use statistics”

  • Patriot1776

    Imagine that, a “scientific” study from a government grant that shows that people aren’t responsible for their actions, it is their diet. Also, they consider carrying a gun or a knife an act of violence? How many of our tax dollars were wasted on this?

    What if all of the tax dollars we waste on studying stupid socialist theories were spent on productive activities like paying down the national debt? What if people were held accountable for their actions instead of finding scientific excuses?

  • death to non believers

    i always thougt the drinking of water caused violence behavior. a study will show 100% of violent criminals have had a drink of water at some time in their lives.

    who paid for this study of carbonated soda drinkers, the wine industry or the socialist/communist party?

    • wrsrvn67

      Hurry , hurry Mr and Mrs taxpayer. Send us more grant money to study this further. Damn, I can’t believe they even put that up for us to see.

    • independant thinker

      Its not drinking water but rather breathingthe air.

  • Jan

    I’ve been drinking soda all my life, I’m now 55, I never had the feeling of wanting to beat someone up.. maybe all the violent video games, movies, no adult presence, and teens wanting their 15 mintues of fame on internet sites may have more to do with it than drinking coke or pepsi.

  • Pete0097

    Yes, and did you know that EVERY person that is in jail for a violent crime breather oxygen as a child!! That is a statistical fact.

    • wrsrvn67

      And pregnancy causes babies to be born naked.

  • David O

    I shared this article on my facebook wall and as I stated there, I believe that one’s moral compass and individual personality plays a large part in whether one is violent or not. i drank a lot of soda and ate a lot of junk food as a teen and was never violent. I also watched violent TV shows and movies (I’ve read some research articles reporting that teens playing violent video games and watching acts of violence on TV and in movies also led to teen violence). I don’t believe that either CAUSE teen violence anymore than matches CAUSE arson.

  • 45caliber

    Let’s make it even easier to understand:

    TEENS cause teen violence.

  • TML

    Sounds like a very poor experiment, with a highly questionable conclusion.

  • Jeffrey A. Williams

    High sugar diets always take the risk of contributing to the behavior in all humans.

    • s c

      Jeffrey, many people still refuse to think about the health dangers in consuming lots of white, refined sugar. As bad as ‘regular’ sugar can be, artificial sweeteners are WORSE. They are nueral toxins.
      Manufacturers of artificial sweeteners KNOW they’re making TONS of EASY money, and WE are paying for it (yes, in more ways than one).
      Our spoiled culture lets kids dodge fruit and veggies. Parents are primarily to blame for that. Uncle Scam (via the FDA) makes it worse – and the bastard SOB expects to be immune from any ‘side-effects,’ too.

  • 45caliber

    This is like the Texas A&M research on pickles.

    “All teens who commit violence drink sodas. Therefore sodas cause them to commit violence.”

    The thing they forget is that ALL teens drink soda and most do not commit violence.

  • Greg

    Right! Soda – BAD. Drugs – Good. If this isn’t a leftist nanny-state study, then nothing is.


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