Apparently, caffeinated drinks are not teaching the world to sing in perfect harmony. Though they didn’t name specific brands of soft drink, researchers report that teens who overindulged in non-diet, carbonated soft drinks per week are extra violent. They studied 1878 kids at 22 Boston public high schools.
Of those who drank 14 or more cans per week, 43 per cent carried a gun or knife. Of those who drank one or fewer soft drink cans per week, 23 per cent carried such weapons. And when it came to taking the next step and actually perpetrating violence, 27 per cent of the heavy soda drinkers did so compared with 15 per cent of the more moderate drinkers.
The researchers, who published their study in the online journal Injury Prevention, said the effect has “the same magnitude as the impact of alcohol or tobacco”, though they don’t know if it’s the sugar, the caffeine, or something else entirely that’s causing the violence. The Boston teens are not alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, male teenagers across the US drink 600g of full-calorie soft drink per day on average, and females drink 400g. Until we can figure out how to get them to step away from the soft drinks, let’s do our best not to make them angry.