WebMD writes that soft drinks are actually liquid candy. In the United States, where one out of every six children is overweight and one out of every three is at risk for being overweight, sweetened drinks have become a major health issue. Recently soft drinks have also been associated with behavioral problems in young children, according to an Aug. 16, 2013 article published by Elsevier.
Americans have been buying more soft drinks per capita than people in any other country in the world. These soft drinks are being consumed by individuals of all ages, including very young children. Soft drink consumption has previously been associated with aggression, depression, and suicidal thoughts in adolescents, however, the relationship had not been evaluated in younger kids.
A new study has found that aggression, attention problems, and withdrawal behavior are all associated with soft drink consumption in young kids. Shakira Suglia, ScD, and colleagues from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, University of Vermont, and Harvard School of Public Health assessed approximately 3,000 5-year-old children enrolled in the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, for this study.
Suglia and colleagues found that children who drank 4 or more soft drinks per day were more than twice as likely to destroy things which belonged to others, get into fights, and physically attack other people. These kids also had increased attention problems and withdrawal behavior in comparison with those kids who did not consume soft drinks. Dr. Suglia said, “We found that the child’s aggressive behavior score increased with every increase in soft drinks servings per day.”