There has been concern over reports in recent years that excess sugar may be associated with violent behavior in kids. Some people think this entire concept is a myth. Well, from a scientific perspective it appears credible to consider the possible link between too much sugar and violent behavior. Gailon Totheroh has reported for CBN News “What’s In That? How Food Affects Behavior.” Junky diets and food additives may in fact be associated with poor school performance, criminal behavior, alcoholism, and the growing numbers of Alzheimer’s patients.
Dr. Russell Blaylock says it’s a compounded problem because of high sugar content and starchy carbohydrates. Blaylock explains those carbohydrates, too, act like sugar in the body. Blaylock describes the sugar syndrome as follows: When sugar is in excess, it produces an excess release of insulin. When insulin is released in excess the blood sugar falls and this is known as hypoglycemia. Among other unhealthy effects, hypoglycemia causes the brain to secrete glutamate in levels which can cause agitation, depression, anger, anxiety, panic attacks and an increase in suicide risk.
Laura Newman, MA has reported for Medscape Today “Intake of Soft Drinks Linked With Violent Behavior in Children.” Although alcohol intake in youth has been associated with aggressive behavior and violence, the influence of sugary and carbonated soft drinks on behavior in youth has not been well studied. Public health officials and nutritionists have already been criticizing consumption of carbonated soft drinks because they may fill people up with empty calories, sugar, and caffeine. New research published October 24 in Injury Prevention has suggested that the drinks also may be linked with, or may be a strong marker for, violent behavior in teenagers.
David Hemenway, MD, professor of public health and director of the Injury Control Center at the Harvard School of Public Health, has said “This is the first study to suggest such an association.” These investigators found that high consumption of carbonated, nondiet soft drinks had an association with a statistically significant 9% to 15% greater likelihood of engaging in aggressive behaviors. And it was found that heavy soft drink use had about the same effect as tobacco and alcohol on violence.
It was discovered by Dr. Hemenway and coauthors that teenagers who drank more than five 12-ounce cans of carbonated soft drinks each week were more likely to carry a weapon and commit violence against friends, dates, and siblings. Dr. Hemenway has stated that a direct-cause-and effect relationship between soft drink consumption and aggression is possible, noting that various ingredients, which include carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, aspartame, sodium benzoate, phosphoric or citric acid, and often caffeine might affect behaviour. It would therefore appear to make good medical sense to caution against drinking too many sugary and carbonated soft drinks.
Photographer: Simon Howden
Mandel News Service