A recent study published in the Journal of Pediatrics by Dr. Suglia from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, University of Vermont, and Harvard School of Public Health, has directly linked soda consumption in young children to aggression, attention problems, and withdrawal behavior.
The study group consisted of approximately 3,000 5-year-old children enrolled in the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, a prospective birth cohort that follows mother-child pairs from 20 large U.S. cities. Mothers reported their child’s soft drink consumption and completed the Child Behavior Checklist based on their child’s behavior during the previous two months. The researchers found that 43% of the children consumed at least 1 serving of soft drinks per day, and 4% consumed 4 or more.
Young children who drank 4 or more soft drinks per day were more than twice as likely to destroy things belonging to others, get into fights, and physically attack people. They also had increased attention problems and withdrawal behavior compared with those who did not consume soft drinks, and according to Dr. Suglia, “We found that the child’s aggressive behavior score increased with every increase in soft drinks servings per day.”
Globally soda (fizzie drinks) consumption is a multi-billion dollar industry. There have been health concerns over Soda for a number of years. Recent studies have validated those concerns especially with the consumption of sugar sweetened and artificial sweetened soda. The current research further demonstrates the neurological impact of soda consumption confirmed by a prior study, where researchers profiled more than 260,000 older adults in a U.S. survey, and determined that people who consumed at least four daily servings of artificially sweetened soda, iced tea or fruit punch were at increased risk, (31%), of being diagnosed with depression in the next decade.
Other studies have demonstrated the health impact of sodas and that there is a higher risk of pancreatic cancer in women not in men and a significant higher risk of stroke in both men and women. One study demonstrated conclusively that was an elevated higher risk of Non Hodkins lymphoma in men but not in women with the consumption of regular sugar sweetened soda.
The common denominating factor in all the prevailing studies was the consumption of high amount of regular sweetened sugar soda.
Dr. Honglei Chen, an investigator at the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, found the research findings ““intriguing,” and consistent with a small but growing number of studies linking artificially sweetened drinks to poorer health.
Schernhammer ES., Bertrand KA., Birmann BM, Sampson L., Willett WW, Feskanish D. 2012. Consumption of artificial sweetener and sugar containing soda and risk of lymphoma and leukemia in men and women. Am. J. clin. Nutrition. Oct. 24 2012. Epublication.
Schernhammer ES, Hu FB, Giovannucci E., Michaud DS., Colditz GA., Stampfer MJ., Fuchs CS. 2005 Sugar-sweetened soft drink consumption and risk of pancreatic cancer in two prospective cohorts. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2005 Sep;14(9):2098-105