Do Soft Drinks Make You More Violent?

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.

Picture by Vox Efx

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.

Australian Science Media Centre


Comments

    Wow, if this isn't a stretch, I don't know what is.

    Only if it crits

    Correlation is not causation.

    That said, people who flood their bodies with sugar and caffeine at frequent intervals just might have quick tempers.

    But yeah, "more research is needed" as the old saying goes...

    With this sort of reasoning, I think Tattoo's also cause violence!

    Trees swaying back and forth creates wind.

    "...teenagers who drank more than five cans of soft drink a week..."

    I think a better question is, which teenager doesn't drink the equivalent of 5 cans of soft drink a week (or more)?!

    C'mon be realistic here, this reasoning is almost as dumb as saying "the majority of minors under 16 don't drive".

    When you single out a majority group, then you're going to find no shortage of other traits that are more common than the minority group.

    Rum and Coke always seemed to make my mates angry!

    Title needs work, this study is for kids. For adults if you mix it with liquor, yes it makes you more violent.

    I agree with Matte on this one: Correlation is not causation.

    To all the "correlation isn't causation" people, the article clearly states this...

    "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."

    All the study suggests to me is that bogans are fond of both sweet fizzy drinks AND punching on.

    I just find it slightly odd that it's a picture of the American packaging, rather than the Australian packaging.

      Both the authors are from American universities.
      Oh and lifehacker is American too.

    Soft drinks do NOT make you violent! Anyone who disagrees can meet me outside as soon as I've finished my Irn Bru. Right pal?

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