Kid Drink Soda? Watch out.

It's long been known that over-consumption of sugary soft drinks can harm adults, leading to stroke, obesity, kidney damage, and high blood pressure.

But a study, published Friday in the Journal of Pediatrics, which focused on 5-year-old soda drinkers and behavioral problems, found that "those who drank four or more pops daily were more than twice as likely to attack others, fight with them or destroy their property," according to Beth Greenfield at yahoo.com.

The study found a clear association between aggression—as well as withdrawal and attention problems—and soda consumption, even after adjusting for socio-demographic factors, maternal depression, intimate-partner violence, and paternal incarceration, Greenfield reports.

Is it the caffeine?  The sugar?  Researchers aren't yet sure. And sports drinks are no better.

“Other than the obvious reasons that children should stay away from soda—that it rots their teeth, that it has no nutritional value—the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) put out a pretty strong statement on caffeine recently,” Marcie Schneider, a physician now specializing in adolescent care in Connecticut, and the author of a 2011 study outlining the dangers of sports drinks for children, told Yahoo! Shine. 





She said kids should limit their intake of caffeine to about 100 mg daily, or one cola, and she totally discourages the drinking of diet soda, according to Greenfield.

So how do you get your kids off soda (or sports drinks)?  Schneider recommends that parents start gradually weaning them off caffeine, but be prepared for the same sort of headaches and crankiness adults get when they try to limit their caffeine.   

The best way to stop it?  Don't let your kids have it in the first place. But since that's not realistic, maybe try to set a good example.  Maybe you should cut back, too.



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