Children as young as five who consume soft drinks everyday are more likely to have behavioral problems such as aggression, difficulty in playing attention and social withdrawal, a new research has revealed.
The study by researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, University of Vermont, and Harvard School of Public Health assessed approximately 3,000 5-year old children. The kids were enrolled in the Fragile Families and Child Well-being Study, a prospective birth cohort that follows mother-child pairs from 20 large US cities.
Mothers reported their child's soft drink consumption and completed the Child Behaviour Checklist based on their child's behaviour during the previous 2 months.
The researches found that 43% of the children consumed at least one serving of soft drinks per day, and 4% consumed 4 or more. Aggression, withdrawal, and attention problems were associated with soda consumption. Even after adjusting for socio-demographic factors, maternal depression, intimate partner violence, and paternal incarceration, any soft drink consumption was linked to increased aggressive behavior.
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.
"We found that the child's aggressive behavior score increased with every increase in soft drinks servings per day," said Dr Suglia, Mailman School assistant professor of Epidemiology.
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