It may seem like overkill for many parents to make a direct link between drinking soda and their children’s aggressive behavior. Yet science supports this idea. The link between soda and aggression in children is confirmed by a number of studies.
Scientific literature points out that there is a clear link between aggressive behavior and the consumption of soft drinks in children. But are all drinks affected so far? What ingredients are involved in this finding? Sugar, caffeine, additives or the carbonation process? Or maybe it’s the combination of all of these that make soda consumption dangerous?
Soft drinks, children and health
Little by little, we are realizing the benefit that we can get by eliminating sodas from children’s diets. Doctors and nutritionists have made it clear that carbonated drinks provide empty calories to children and contribute to increased rates of childhood obesity. Dentists advise children not to drink sugary drinks, which are a major cause of tooth decay.
In addition, many carbonated drinks also contain caffeine. Caffeine does much more than upset children and delay the time they fall asleep. It can cause headaches, upset stomach, nervousness and trouble sleeping. Caffeine has also been linked to certain behavioral problems and nervous system disorders. Even in small amounts, caffeine can produce these effects in children.
Soft drinks and aggression in children
The behavioral problems associated with soft drinks are not a problem to be taken lightly. If health problems are not enough to prompt parents to take action, behavioral problems associated with their consumption are added to the list of reasons that should lead to eliminating soda, partially or completely, from their diet.
A 2013 study published in The Journal of Pediatrics found that aggression, withdrawal behavior, and attention problems are linked to soft drink consumption in young children (Suglia, 2013).
The researchers evaluated 3,000 5-year-olds from 20 different cities in the United States. They found that consuming these drinks was linked to aggressive behavior.
To do this, they tried to isolate their influence. This is done by eliminating important factors such as maternal depression, parental imprisonment and domestic violence. In addition, children who drank four or more soft drinks per day doubled the likelihood of eventually destroying other people’s belongings.
The link is not clear
The link between soda and aggressive behavior in children is unclear. Since carbonated drinks are highly processed, researchers suspect that ingredients like aspartic acid or phosphoric acid may be linked to behavioral problems.
Caffeine has also been linked to certain behavioral problems in children. The researchers therefore suspect that the caffeine content could be part of the problem.
In addition, high consumption of this type of sugary drink can also affect blood sugar levels. Hypoglycemia can make children crave carbonated drinks overwhelmingly, causing them to withdraw into themselves or become aggressive.
The dangers of drinking soda in teens
Studies have also established a link between behavioral and emotional problems in adolescents and the consumption of soft drinks. A study published in the International Journal of Injury Control and Safety Promotion established a link between the consumption of soda and aggression, depression and suicidal behavior in adolescents (Solnick & Hemenway, 2013).
According to researchers, the more soda teens drink, the more likely they are to get involved in fights. Additionally, they found that teens were more likely to feel sad or hopeless. And having suicidal thoughts or behavior.
Aggressive behavior may be linked to carbonated drinks
In summary: among the many factors that can make a child systematically aggressive, there is the consumption of soft drinks. In fact, eliminating these types of drinks from your child’s diet can dramatically improve their behavior.
This type of drink includes carbonated drinks. Sweet drinks. Processed juices. Caffeinated drinks. And energy drinks. It is especially important not to let children drink energy drinks – including sports drinks. Many of these drinks contain stimulants like guarana and taurine, as well as a large amount of caffeine.