Bad behavior, learning difficulties, hyperactivity, and aggression in children under five years of age has been associated with the consumption of soft drinks for the first time in research conducted by Dr. Shakira Suglia, and colleagues from Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, the University of Vermont, and Harvard School of Public Health that was published in the Aug. 16, 2013, issue of The Journal of Pediatrics.
The researchers evaluated 3,000 children that were five years of age that were part of the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study. The Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study is a pairing of mothers and children from 20 large cities in the United States and is considered to be highly representative of race, financial position, and living conditions for the majority of people in the United States.
The scientists found that 43 percent of the children in the study drank at least one twelve ounce soft drink per day and four percent drank as many as four per day.
Higher consumption of soft drinks was reported by the children’s mothers as being associated with higher instances of aggression toward other people, breaking of the belongings of other people, and physical attacks on other people. The children that drank higher numbers of soft drinks per day were also reported to have higher levels of withdrawal and greater problems with attention than children who drank fewer soft drinks or did not drink soft drinks at all.
The researchers found a direct linear relationship with the instances of aggression and the number of soft drinks consumed per day by the children.