We already know that highly sugary soft drinks can do all sorts of bad things to your health, but could they actually make you more violent? A recent study suggests they might, but local scientists caution that more research is needed.
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A study of high school students in Boston published in medical journal Injury Prevention suggested that teenagers who drank more than five cans of soft drink a week were more likely to be involved in a fight or to have carried a gun or a knife.
While that’s interesting, local scientists note that (as we should all know by now) correlation doesn’t equal causation, and other factors such as diet and drug consumption may also be a factor. You can read a bunch of reactions at the Australian Science Media Centre link below, but the comment from Michael Moore, CEO of the Public Health Association of Australia, is a good summary:
These findings probably tell us more about the people who drink large volumes of soft drink rather than necessarily suggesting a causal link between soft drink and anti-social behaviour. The study rely cries out for more research to understand why heavy use of soft drink may be an indicator of poor behaviour and what are the social conditions that lead to such heavy use. Such a study would also need to look at the impact of alcohol, caffeinated drinks and illicit drugs which we do know have both an indicator and a causal link
Ultimately, while there may not yet be a demonstrable link between sugary soft drinks and violence, there are plenty of other good reasons to cut back on them or give them up altogether.