Choose your weapon: Coke or Pepsi? A soda study with a lot of gas

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We ve previously read some claims that soda consumption is tied to obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, but we ve yet to hear one this ridiculous: Drinking lots of soda may increase the risk of violent behavior among teenagers. Those are the results of a new study published in the journal Injury Prevention, which surveyed over 1,800 teens from 22 public schools in Boston about their soda drinking habits and whether they had acted violently in the past week. They were also asked if they had carried a gun or a knife in the past year.

Researchers from the University of Vermont found that 15 percent of teens who drank little or no soda reported violent behavior toward a partner, compared to almost twice that number among those who drank 14 or more cans per week.

The study authors suggest that an underlying condition such as low blood sugar could account for the increase in both soda consumption and aggressive behavior, or perhaps the sugar or caffeine content might explain it. But ACSH's Dr. Gilbert Ross observes that there is no biological plausibility for a causal relationship between violence and SSBs. The author s suggested mechanisms are ridiculous, he says. A much better explanation is that this study s methodologies are so flawed as to invalidate its conclusions. The data were obtained from self-reports, and the only students surveyed were minorities, which itself makes the study suspect. It s a shame that this poor excuse for science got so much attention.