More bad news about kids and sugary drinks
The news about kids and sweet drinks hasn’t been good in recent days. Sugary drinks have been linked to a number of health concerns among children. Recent research found that children as young as 4-years-old who drink even one sugary beverage a day are at risk of becoming obese.
Adding to the list of bad news, a new study says sugary drinks can also lead to “aggression, attention problems and withdrawal” in children. The results are scheduled to be published in the Journal of Pediatrics.
Researchers from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, University of Vermont, and Harvard School of Public Health evaluated responses from 3,000 5-year-old children and their moms in 20 large U.S. cities.
The mothers answered survey questions about how much and how often their kids drank sugared soft drinks along with responses about their children’s behavior.
Results showed that 43 percent of the kids drank at least one soft drink per day along with 4 percent of kids who consumed 4 or more beverages daily.
Study leaders said the children who drank 4 or more soft drinks a day were “more than twice as likely to destroy things belonging to others, get into fights, and physically attack people.” Additionally, the children displayed problems staying attentive and were more likely to withdraw than those who drank less.
“We found that the child’s aggressive behavior score increased with every increase in soft drinks servings per day,” said research lead Shakira Suglia, in a news release. Suglia said the results were adjusted for other family issues including a parent’s depression, domestic violence or other factors.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), sugar-sweetened beverages are the largest source of added sugars in the diet of American kids.
Many health experts say everyone, especially children, should avoid soft drinks in general, whether they contain sugar or not.
“I advise my patients to avoid sugary beverages and soft drinks and to choose water as much as possible,” says Dr. Bruce Hyman, internist on staff at Advocate Condell Medical Center, Libertyville, Ill.
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