Does Soda Make Teens Violent?
Stay away from high schoolers in Boston who drink more than five cans of soda every week. A Boston-area study found that teens who consumed five or more sodas in a week had a higher tendency for violence. They were also more likely to have consumed alcohol or smoked within the month preceding the survey.
The results came from the Boston Youth Survey, a two-year study conducted on almost 2,000 Boston teenagers from 22 high schools.
Researchers asked participants how many sodas (by the can) they drank in a week, then asked if those students had been violent toward another student, brother or sister, or significant other. To top it off, researchers also wanted to know if participants had carried a gun or knife within the last year.
According to Dr. Sara Solnick, one of the researchers, "There were a lot of questions about violence and different factors. There was also a couple of questions about diet. We were quite surprised to see a strong link between soft drinks and the probability of violent behaviors." Solnick is a professor at the University of Vermont.
The good news: Of the students who drank one or zero cans of soda per week, only 23% had carried a weapon at some point. Still, that's a high number. Almost 1 in 4 carried a gun or knife at some point. Of those who drank a whopping 14 cans or more, 43% packed heat.