Teens who drink soda may be more likely to get into fights and act violently.
- Teens who drink more soda get into more fights and act more aggressively.
- Excess sugar may affect the brain and lead to violent acts.
- Soda drinking may be a marker for poor nutrition, which can influence mood and behavior.
Teenagers who drink lots of soft drinks get into more fights and carry more weapons than their peers who drink less, found a new study.
And while the study couldn't determine whether soft drinks actually cause violence, the findings add to a growing -- yet still controversial -- body of research on the effects of nutrition on behavior.
"We were surprised at how large the effect was," said David Hemenway, director of the Harvard School of Public Health's Injury Control Research Center in Boston.
"It was maintained even when we controlled for alcohol and tobacco and family stuff like eating dinners together," he said. "There was a very strong, stable relationship between more soft drinks that people said they drank and more fights with things like pushing and shoving."