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More Soda Pop = More Violence?

• November 14, 2012 • 1:19 PM

Maybe New York City’s giant-soda banning mayor is on to something. A new study from the Harvard School of Public Health finds that teens who drink a lot of sweet fizzy drinks are extra-prone to violence. As Harvard Magazine reports:

Heavy consumers of nondiet soft drinks—students who had drunk five or more cans in the week preceding the survey—were more likely to have behaved violently toward peers (57 percent, versus 39 percent of respondents who drank less soda); to have behaved violently toward another child in their own families (42 percent, versus 27 percent); to have behaved violently in a dating relationship (26 percent, versus 16 percent); and to have carried a gun or a knife during the past year (40 percent, versus 27 percent).

As several commenters on the magazine’s site pointed out, correlation is not causation; there’s no evidence here that drinking a lot of Coke makes kids violent, only that the two behaviors show up together often. I’m sticking to apple juice for my kids anyway.

Vince Beiser
Vince Beiser is an award-winning journalist based in Los Angeles, California. Follow him on Twitter @vincelb.

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