Drinking Soda All Day Could Make Your Kid Violent According To New Study

shutterstock_33446842__1376647741_74.134.205.46A new study from the Journal of Pediatrics says that soda may contribute to behaviors such as violence, aggression and moodiness when given to children as young as five. The study, conducted by a team from Columbia University in New York, asked moms of five year old how often their kids had soda. Almost half of the 3,000 boys and girls had at least one soft drink a day. One in 25 had four or more, the Journal of Pediatrics reports. From The Daily Mail:

A study found that boys and girls who had four soft drinks a day were more than twice as likely to get into fights, destroy others’ possessions and physically attack people, compared with those who drank other beverages.

The children studied were part of a larger project involving ‘fragile families’ – families deemed to be at greater risk of break-up and poverty than normal.  

However, the link with aggression was ‘strong and consistent’, even when factors such as the number of sweets eaten, socio-economic status, domestic violence and the mother’s mental health were taken into account.  

Researcher Shakira Suglia said that she was not able to prove that the soft drinks were making the children violent.  

For instance, it is possible that health problems that make children aggressive or moody could also create cravings for sugary drinks.

OK so awesome, the researcher couldn’t prove the connection. And what kid is drinking four sodas a day? I’m a terrible Diet Coke addict. Yes, I know how utterly bad it is for me and yes, I will quit the satan juice, and yes, I know, I know. But even though I feel like I consume a large amount of the DC daily, even I don’t drink FOUR a day and I’m a grownup person! Soda is expensive. I have a very hard time believing one in 25 kids of age five drink that may a day. I think drinking that much of anything other than plain water would make me moody and prone to violence too, mainly because I’d be all DON’T WE HAVE ANY MORE BEVERAGES UP IN HERRRRRE?

I guess the takeaway is I find it VERY hard to believe that any moms out there are letting their kids drink this much soda. That’s my total scientific conclusion to this study. Now I have to go conduct a study on whether feeding my cat and dog treats at the same exact time results in them cuddling on the sofa so I can take photos of them. Outcome? UNLIKELY.

(Image: Dundanim/shutterstock)

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    • S

      Eve, this article was posted two minutes ago. ARE THEY CUDDLING YET?! I have a rough work day ahead of me and I can’t handle this suspense.

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        NO. Science sucks. Maybe I should give them soda?

        there was a very brief moment where Godzilla got very excited and played with a Barbie show and Murdoc went over and interrupted him, that’s all I got so far :(

        WHY is work rough?

      • S

        That’s a complicated story. And by complicated, I mean, “I procrastinated.” But doesn’t ‘complicated’ sound better than having to wear the hat of proscrasti-shame? So many assignments due. Also, a tiny old man whooped me at tai chi last night. ARE THEY CUDDLING NOW?!?

    • AStewart

      As much as I’m sure they looked at the inference ceteris paribus (uh… controlled for all other influences), I think a family that allows its kids to drink 4 cans of fizzy drink a day probably has many more factors involved that influence behaviour.

      I got very angry on the bus the other day because a young grandma was “looking after” her grandkids and they ALL had crisps and/or a candy bar to themselves, and some of them were drinking full sized cans of Rockstar energy drink (that’s not supposed to be sold to under 16s). All of these kids were under 11, by the looks of it. Their behaviour was terrible but the woman was just as bad in her reaction, shouting and threatening that she wouldn’t take them out tomorrow (“I bet £100 that when we go swimming tomorrow you won’t be there!”) and shouting insults back at them. Not exactly the best role model.
      At one point she said to them “You’re making me look stupid having to shout at you!” to which one of the older kids replied “So stop shouting”. That made me giggle. But I just wanted to reply that she looked stupid enough without shouting.

      Eh, sorry. Wanted to get that off my chest! I do think there are multiple factors involved though. The kids were little hellions, but I’d definitely say it was nurture over nature.

    • LadyClodia

      My older son’s former pediatrician (we moved, she was awesome) used to also work at the children’s hospital in the ER/clinic, and so saw a lot of crazy stuff, and she said that sometimes parents would put Coke in a bottle for their baby/toddler. It’s sad, but I do believe that there are parents who allow their kids that many sodas a day. Maybe the soda is the only thing in the house to drink, and it never occurs to the kids to get water to drink because they’ve never seen anyone drink water at home.

      My dad worked at a soda bottling plant when we were little, and I know we didn’t have soda very often, but I do remember having it. My 4 year old refuses to drink soda or even anything fizzy, like sparkling water, and that’s fine; I’m certainly not going to argue with him. My toddler tries to steal my cup if I have soda, but that’s mostly because he knows he’s not supposed to; he tries to steal coffee and tea cups too. I usually drink 2 diet sodas a day, usually Coke Zero or Diet Dr. Pepper.

    • Paul White

      I drink about that much a day /shameface

      • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

        Does it make you violent???

      • Paul White

        Only if there isn’t a handy bathroom.

    • TwentiSomething Mom

      I hate to admit, by my parents used to let my little brother drink multiples cups of soda a day when he was as young as 1. He would drink it in a sippy cup and when they finally realized the soda was making him hyper and wouldn’t let him sleep, they switched to decaf.

      I spent a lot of time with other family members that ate really well so I would suggest to my parents they give my brother milk or juice as an alternative but they would always say “juice is too expensive”. That, unfortunately is what I often heard when I requested 100% apple juice and fresh fruit. We never had a shortage of soda, chips and cookies.

      Some parents are misinformed about the health risks certain food and drinks cause and others don’t care.

      • Dark Angel

        Soda in a sippy? It fizzes out and makes a huge mess. My son had surgery when he was one and at two he had a vomiting issue (his stomach would mysteriously become upset and he’d vomit for 24-48 hours). So do get him to keep pedialite down we would mix it with lightly carbonated water and that was a mess without stickiness.

    • chickadee

      Read Frances Locke’s piece on Juggalo reproduction. Those poor babies probably never get anything but soda.

    • Blueathena623

      What’s wrong with water? Seriously people, just give your kids water. We have four beverage options in our house: milk, water, coffee, and juice-water (watered down juice.)

      • SusannahJoy

        I drank sooooo much juice that I mixed with sparkling water when I was pregnant. Does that count as soda? Because it was damn tasty. So tasty, that we had to stop buying it, because even watered down, we were drinking waaayyy too much juice. It was fine for pregnant me, but less so for my husband.

    • SDA

      I have to admit I get judgy on the whole soda thing. Now, I am not talking about a cup at a cookout or party or the random sip of a parents drink, but people that routinely give their child soda. With everything we know about the effects of sugar (or actually HFCs) and caffeine I think it is irresponsible on the parents part. I know several children of friends/family who were almost put on medicine because of behavior issues (severe behavior issues) when fortunately the doctor suggested diet change first. The results were remarkable. It is sad to think that a child may end up on ADD medicine when what they really need is to drink milk for breakfast instead of Mountain Dew.

      The other thing I don’t understand is the COST. Good lord with raising a child and the ever rising cost of living I can’t see buying soda “just to have around” for the kids.

      Now if I can just quit my lunchtime Diet Coke, we’ll be all good….but I am well above drinking age. ;)

    • Rachel Sea

      I totally believe it. Soda is cheaper than juice, milk, or bottled water, and if your tap water is undrinkable, it might seem like the only option.

      • SusannahJoy

        Or you spend $20 on a filter and drink water. I know there are some places where a brita filter isn’t enough to make the water taste ok, but in most places the water is fine.

      • Rachel Sea

        People on fixed incomes can’t afford to buy filters every month, and depending on where you live, Brita might not cut it. My tap water reeks like a dirty swimming pool, tastes bitter, and tests as unsafe without a very expensive multi-stage filter. There are close to 50,000 other people in my town. I’m sure many of them can’t afford the filtration I’ve installed.

      • SusannahJoy

        If you can afford soda, you can afford filters. Theyre about the same price. And I did acknowledge that some places have tap water that require more than the filters.

      • Rachel Sea

        Generic soda is cheaper than good filters.

    • Emmali Lucia

      At the most, I drank three sodas a day when I was about 8 or 9. I wish my mother had never given me the stuff. I finally quit soda, I haven’t had one in two and a half weeks, I don’t plan on staying off of it forever. But water is really nice, and it’s healthy, and I’m still having panic attacks and that amount of sugar would just make things worse.

    • Amber

      Kids who drink massive amounts of soda every day have parents who don’t give a flying fuck about their health. Parents who don’t give a flying fuck about their children’s health also don’t give a flying fuck about a lot of other important things.

      So, it’s no wonder those kids are more likely to be screwed up.

      • SusannahJoy

        This comment is super judgy, but honestly, I agree. I seriously can’t understand how you could give that much soda to a kid that young. We were allowed soda on our birthdays or holidays, but even then, only one (kid sized) glass. It was a nice treat! And as adults, none of us drink a lot. It’s just… how can you know all the terrible things soda does to a body, and still give it to your kid? Or maybe they don’t know how bad it is, but in that case, how can you not know? Educate yourselves people! Basic nutrition is something everyone should know!

      • Rachel Sea

        A quarter of the population is functionally illiterate, and cannot educate themselves about basic nutrition.

      • SusannahJoy

        So lets work on that!

      • Rachel Sea

        I am (I’m a literacy tutor), but the public school system is (and has been) failing.

    • Justme

      I used “getting a Sprite at Sonic” as a treat for my daughter behaving herself while back-to-school shopping with me the other day….and I felt terrible. I might have even cried when I told my husband about it later in the day (who did not give two shits about our daughter having soda). I can’t imagine giving my child a coke on a regular basis. Whatever money I would “save” in buying cheap cokes for her, I would spend on Xanax to calm my anxiety about ruining my child’s diet and general health.

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    • sallyedelstein

      The American Dream may have been downsized but Americans ever expanding
      waistlines have clearly not. Blame in no small part can go to our
      penchant for the super-sizing of our soft drinks. Long before Americans
      began drinking 13.5 billions of carbonated drinks every year, soda was
      something enjoyed in the confines of the local soda fountain. When soda
      became available for home consumption, the real Mad Men of mid century
      Madison Avenue began hawking soda as a family drink”so good so wholesome
      for everyone including the tiniest of tots.” For a collection of
      vintage ads whose message s are as dated as the quaint imagery please
      visit:

      http://envisioningtheamericandream.com/2013/03/11/the-big-gulp/

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

      Wait. Did they account for caffeinated vs. non-caffeinated soda?

    • sgtcat

      I’d think that you would find that it is either a unrelated correlation or the fact that if you’re likely to get in fights, you probably will drink stuff like soda (cus you think that makes you a baddass)

    • Dark_Angel

      I know parents who let their young kids have soda with every meal. Thats three right there. If they have another for snack or two with dinner (as some parents I’ve met do) then I can see how they are getting 4. I never understood how their kid was eating cereal and drinking a soda.

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