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They Say: Kids Who Snarf Candy Become Violent Adults

By Madeline Holler |

candy-makes-kids-meanPerhaps you’ll want to rethink Halloween.

British researchers have found a link between eating candy as a kid and being violent as adults. A new study in the British Journal of Psychiatry’s October issue claims that kids who eat too much candy are more likely to be arrested for violence when they grow up.

The findings are based on research that followed more than 17,000 subjects born in 1970 for over four decades. Sixty-nine percent of the kids who at candy or chocolate everyday at age 10 had been arrested for violence by the age of 39. For those who hadn’t been in violent clashes, only 42 percent ate sweets daily.

Now, nobody’s claiming the candy made them do it. But here’s how some are initially interpreting the findings [MSNBC]:

“It’s not that the sweets themselves are bad, it’s more about interpreting how kids make decisions,” said Simon Moore of the University of Cardiff, one of the paper’s authors.

Moore said parents who consistently bribe their children into good behavior with candies and chocolates could be doing harm. That might prevent kids from learning how to defer gratification, leading to impulsive behavior and violence.

Even after controlling for variables like parenting skills and social and economic backgrounds, researchers say the candy-gorging and violence link was strong.

Perhaps their rotting teeth made them act out? Candy … everyday? Ahhhh, the ’70s.

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About Madeline Holler


Madeline Holler

Madeline Holler is a writer, journalist, and blogger. She has written for Babble since the site launched in 2006. Her writing has appeared in various other publications both online and in print, including Salon and True/Slant (now Forbes). A native of the Midwest, Madeline lives, writes, and parents in Southern California, where she's raising two daughters and a son. Read bio and latest posts → Read Madeline's latest posts →

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0 thoughts on “They Say: Kids Who Snarf Candy Become Violent Adults

  1. [...] Kids Who Snarf Candy Become Violent Adults [...]

  2. beth says:

    Haven’t they found a link between artificial color additives and wild behavior before?

  3. This site is brain washing you says:

    Wow. This is the most ridicules thing i have ever heard.

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