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New Study: Soda Linked to Aggression in 5-Year-Olds

shutterstock_33446842Captain Obvious here to tell you what parents already know: soda is bad for kids.

But just how bad is it? A new study published last week by the Journal of Pediatrics measured soda intake among 5-year-olds from nearly 3,000 families residing in urban areas and found that 5-year-olds who consumed one or more servings of soda a day exhibited more aggressive and distracted behavior than their non-soda drinking peers. In fact, the levels of these undesirable behaviors directly correlated with the amount of soda consumed.

According to researcher Shakira Suglia of Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, “This is a correlation. We’re not saying soda causes aggression.” OK, so while science won’t come right out and blame soda as the definitive cause of aggression among kindergartners, the link is most certainly strong enough evidence to put the 2-liter away. Soda offers absolutely zero nutritional value for growing bodies and with about a million healthier beverage alternatives available for kids that offer hydration and great taste without the behavioral downside, there’s simply no reason to reach for soda.

In light of the study’s findings it would be easy to stand on a soapbox and suggest parents stop buying soda altogether, but let’s be practical. There’s a time and a place for soda – it tastes great and is just one of the many foods or beverages folks keep on hand to either personally enjoy or offer to guests. But more than all of that, grownups deserve the right to enjoy soda if they want to and it’s more than OK to have foods and/or drinks in a home that are reserved for adults only.

I don’t plan on giving up my occasional Cherry Coke anytime soon just because I have kids and I sure as heck shouldn’t have to hide it. Our job as parents is to provide kid-friendly beverages outside of soda to offer our thirsty kids. Will our kids continue to ask for soda when they see it in the fridge? You bet, but guess what? The answer will be no. Cry about it, whine about it, keep asking – the answer will still be no.

Do you let your kids drink soda?

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