Many teens drink a lot of soda. About 25% of teens said they drank soda everyday, according to the 2011 study by the Centers for Disease Control. When you have a soda-filled diet your behavior could become very violent, reports David Hemenway, Ph.D., Director of the Harvard School of Public Health’s Injury Control Center in
Boston, in 2011.
“Teens who drank more soft drinks, were between 9 and 15% more likely to have violent tendencies,” said Hemenway,
Hemenway and colleague Sara Solnick surveyed 1,800 students in Boston public schools. “We asked them questions based on how many non-diet soft drinks they had consumed in the past week, whether they had been violent towards others, and if they carried around a knife or gun.” Thirty percent of the students answered that they consumed more than five cans of soda each week. Heavy soda drinkers still got the same amount of sleep as people who don’t drink soda as much, but 23% of teens who drank one or more sodas a week admitted to carrying around a gun or weapon.
Through his research, Hemenway and others have found that depression, violence, and anger may be linked to poor nutrition. Diets, like soda and high-sugar based diets can be linked to high blood pressure. High blood pressure could be a cause for violent and angry behavior. Soft drinks also contain caffeine, which can raise adrenaline levels and also be a reason for violent behavior, according to some experts. This doesn't mean soft drinks are the only reason for violence, but they know there are a number of reasons why soft drinks could lead to violent or angry actions.
Interesting fact: Sodas’ link to violence was a key element in a 1979 murder trial in San Francisco. Lawyers blamed the actions of the killer for his recent change from a healthy–food diet to a coke and junk food diet. Their argument succeeded, Instead of a homicide ruling, the murderer was convicted of the lesser offense of voluntary manslaughter .
“We have been looking at other sets of adolescents and find the same strong dose-response relationship between soft drink consumption and aggressive behavior (more soft drinks, more likely to have been a perpetrator of violence), holding many other factors constant (e.g., alcohol, tobacco),” said Hemenway in an email response to SciJourner. “We don’t know why.” Lindsey Irene Myers Sherri Lindsey Stallard
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