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Medicine News

Soda Makes Five-Year-Olds Break Your Stuff, Science Finds 287

Daniel_Stuckey writes "Shakira F. Suglia and co-authors surveyed 2,929 mothers of five-year-olds (PDF) and found that 43 percent of the kids consumed at least one serving of soft drinks per day. About four percent of those children (or 110 of them), drank more than four soft drinks per day, and became 'more than twice as likely to destroy things belonging to others, get into fights, and physically attack people.' In the past, soda and its various strains have been related to depression, irritability, aggression, suicidal thoughts, and delusions of sweepstake-winning grandeur. Of course, this study didn't find out what types of soda the children had consumed."
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Soda Makes Five-Year-Olds Break Your Stuff, Science Finds

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 17, 2013 @10:40AM (#44593623)

    It could be that bad parenting causes both the soda and the bad behavior.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 17, 2013 @10:40AM (#44593627)

    It could be the soda, though sugary foods have previously been studied in aggregate without finding any significant effect on children.

    My suspicion? Bad parenting. Parents which don't care, which are handing their kids soda and an iPad instead of doing their jobs. Then the kids' behavior grows increasingly worse as they act out, attempting to draw the attention they need. In this case two sodas per meal (nobody drinks soda for breakfast) is a proxy that should be screaming "these are really bad parents."

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 17, 2013 @10:42AM (#44593639)

    Maybe people who allow their children to drink 4 or more sodas a day are simply bad parents who do not teach their children any discipline or self control.

  • by Twinbee ( 767046 ) on Saturday August 17, 2013 @10:48AM (#44593685) Homepage

    drank more than four soft drinks per day

    Confusingly, in the title and elsewhere, the word 'soda' is used. A soft drink isn't necessarily a soda/carbonated/fizzy drink. In other words, a soft drink may be non-fizzy. That makes the summary at least somewhat ambiguous.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 17, 2013 @10:59AM (#44593739)

    Bad parenting ALLOWS the soda to be drank.

    You know, this brutal literalism only makes you look like an idiot. Oh, snap, we're on /. Throw a rock, hit one.

  • by killkillkill ( 884238 ) on Saturday August 17, 2013 @11:08AM (#44593799)
    Chuckle at the bad joke and move on. Don't let spite grow out of a lighthearted criticism. Also, if you only manage to hit one idiot with a rock here, you're doing it wrong.
  • by AchilleTalon ( 540925 ) on Saturday August 17, 2013 @11:26AM (#44593911) Homepage
    I agree with you. This study doesn't prove anything and is complete failure. It doesn't deserve to make its way on /. unless it is to discuss how bad studies can lead media to make false conclusions from thin data and no clue.
  • by MightyYar ( 622222 ) on Saturday August 17, 2013 @01:41PM (#44594795)

    A bigger problem with the study is that it is based on a survey of mothers. The study could have instead found: (1) mothers who give their kids soda are for some reason more sensitive to bad behavior, (2) mothers "know" that soda causes bad behavior and so they expect it and report their bias, (3) some third factor affects both soda drinking as well as actual or perceived behavior, (4) almost an infinite number of other things.

    I'm glad that someone is examining this, but a study like this can only be used to point science in a direction - it by no means implicates soda as a behavior modifier all by itself, all it found was a correlation in a self-reported survey.

  • by nbauman ( 624611 ) on Saturday August 17, 2013 @02:06PM (#44594959) Homepage Journal

    One option would be that mothers who allow their kids the have so much sugar in their diet is failing in probably more ways than one. So not only is the child getting improper nutrition but also not being taught how to act & respect people or things

    The authors agree with you:

    Many factors may affect both soda consumption and problem behaviors of children. Poor dietary behaviors, such as high soda consumption among young children, may be associated with other parenting practices, such as excessive TV viewing or high consumption of sweets in the child’s diet. Furthermore, parenting practices may be associated with social factors known to be associated with child behavior. In stressful home environments, for example, a child’s needs are likely to be unmet and unhealthy behavioral practices may be more prevalent. An extensive literature has documented a relationship between stressful home environments and child behavior. For example, children who are victims of violent acts or who witness violence have been found to have more externalizing and internalizing behavior problems, more aggression problems and to show signs of posttraumatic stress disorder [9-11]. Furthermore, caretaker mental health can be a strong contributor to both behavioral and developmental problems in children through its effects, in part, on parenting quality and overall home environment [12]. Children of depressed mothers have been shown to develop more social and emotional problems during childhood, including higher internalizing and externalizing problems [13]. Thus, it is possible that observed associations between behavior and soda consumption among adolescents can be attributed to unadjusted social risk factors.

  • by sir-gold ( 949031 ) on Saturday August 17, 2013 @02:32PM (#44595123)

    New study shows that parents who lack parenting skills (and can't control their kids) admit to giving their kids more soda than parents who know better

  • by Attila Dimedici ( 1036002 ) on Saturday August 17, 2013 @02:45PM (#44595191)
    I have done that. When I consume large quantities of sugar, I become sleepy, NOT hyperactive. So, both my personal experience AND a study I have seen supports the conclusion that sugar does not make children hyperactive.

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