Soft drinks – worse than you think for kids

By Donna Duggan

Soft drinks – worse than you think for kids

Most parents know soft drinks are not great for kids, but a new study shows they’re even worse than previously thought.

While it’s common knowledge that soft drinks are not great for your health, a new US study scheduled for publication in The Journal of Pediatrics shows that aggression, attention problems, and withdrawal behaviour are all associated with soft drink consumption in young children.

The study, conducted by researchers at Columbia University, the University of Vermont and the Harvard School of Public Health, assessed approximately 3,000 five-year-old children over a two-month period. Soft drink consumption and behaviour patterns were recorded during this time.

Even after adjusting for sociodemographic factors, maternal depression, intimate partner violence and paternal incarceration, any soft drink consumption was associated with increased aggressive behaviour.

It’s not just behaviour that soft drinks can affect. Soft drinks have long been associated with obesity, Type 2 diabetes and dental caries but last year an Australia study published in the journal Respirology showed that a high level of soft drink consumption is also linked with asthma. In this study, “soft drink” comprised of Coke, lemonade, flavored mineral water, Powerade and Gatorade.

And don’t think you get off the hook by choosing diet soft drink. A study published last year in the Journal of General Internal Medicine showed that individuals who drink diet soft drinks on a daily basis may be at increased risk of suffering vascular events such as stroke, heart attack, and vascular death.

Getting bored with drinking water? Add a splash of fresh lemon or lime juice and your body will love you for it.


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