Harvard Study: Sugary Sodas Make Boston Teens More Violent

By Doug Cope, WBZ NewsRadio 1030

BOSTON (CBS) – Can sugary sodas make teenagers violent?

A new study seems to point in that direction.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Doug Cope reports

The study from the Harvard School of Public Health found inner-city Boston high school kids who drank more than five cans of sugary sodas a week were 9-to-15 percent more likely to engage in an aggressive act than teens who drank less soda.

WBZ-TV’s Jon Keller Is At Large

Study author professor David Hemenway told WBZ NewsRadio 1030 the results were surprising.

“We were really shocked that the strength of the relationship, it was so stable, no matter what you else added to the regression analysis. No mater what else you did, this result was so strong and it was for all forms of violence.”

“Violence against your peers, violence in dating relationships, and also violence among siblings. So it’s just like, pushing, shoving, beating up your brother.”

But Hemenway cautions other factors could be involved in the violent behavior and more study is needed.

More from Doug Cope
  • Matt

    I am going to go with it has more to do with where they are raised than what they drink.

  • Jim

    I tend to drink 5 cans a day sometimes and it doesn’t make me violent. Just overweight. I think that article is BS, and it has to do where and how the kids are raised.

  • emom

    OK let me get this straight,,, if a teenager drinks 5 or more cans of soda a day they have a small chance of being violent,,, WOW,,,,, REACHING MUCH. come on lets see, the following had nothing to do with teen violence ,,, drugs, drinking alcohol, aggressive music, gangs, lack of parenting, or how about these,, Coffee, poor diet, candy, fast food burgers, gum, sniffing stuff, being plain foolish, lack of birthdays, parents hating you , being bullied, bags of chips, cookies or how about cake,,, Just image a party full of 10 year old eating cake and chips take about rage,,, yeah wheres the pinata they need to break something to release their anger….
    WOW who in the heck creates all these studies, for that matter where does the $$$$$ come from to fund these studies,,,, Who are these people that study these studies,,,, what basic or even facts are they going by,,,, Yeah last time we hear of one of these studies, it was to much TV and video games that caused aggressiveness,,,, WOW once again I say where do they come up with this stuff,,,
    Did they study this with coke or Pepsi, mountain dew or Dr. pepper,,, I think these guys are drinking way to much coffee and are now delusionally , seeing stuff and well freaking out on something,,,,, soda,,, OK wheres my 6 pack of Pepsi I need to calm down,,, coffee just does not do it any more,,,,,

    • Matt

      I am going to recomend that you take English 101 at any Community College. Every one of your posts are painfull to read.

      • tsal

        Being rude is unnecessary. I enjoy reading emom’s comments. And if you are going to criticize please make sure you have spelled everything correctly, or perhaps you might take your own advice.

  • Sheila

    Are sugary drinks now considered a gateway drug?? I question the study.

  • The Answer Man

    When a teen wakes up in the morning, they are a million times more likely to be violent as opposed to those teens who sleep constantly well into young adulthood. WE NEED MORE SEDATIVES!!!

  • jaygee

    One more study that is full of holes. Drinking too much soda will make you become an animal, huh? I suppose the doctor believes that all of the kids carrying guns in Boston and shooting other kids. do so because of sugar in the beverages they drink. Next he’ll be saying that swallowing small amounts of saliva over many years will cause you to age.


    This study reports what is called a spurious correlation. Nothing more nothing less. Jaygee got it right wiht his saliva example. ” Swallowing saliva over many years will cause you to age”. Kids who drink lots of soda clearly come from households that do not foster proper nutrition. In addition, they probably do not foster proper behavior as well. Did they break this study down by race, economic and location? I am sure you could do a study that finds that African Americans drink far more soda than any other group. What are the implications of this? I am sure its racist somehow and a scholarship will be created to send soda drinking disadvantaged blacks to Harvard.

    • tsal

      Realist – they broke it down- it’s easy to find out how if you look. Other than your comments, I can’t even imagine what you find about the study that is racist.

  • Willow

    This is just another excuse to blame bad behavior on. When will people finally be accountable for their actions without it being the fault of something or someone else?

    • web

      I agree..now if someone gets in trouble, they have yet ANOTHER excuse..drinking soda! People just look for excuses for bad behavior, bugs me that they will try to use this now. How many people have I read about that are stopped for ‘DUI’ and they say they’ve been taking meds? awful

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