Teen Drinking– One Can A Day Is Too Much

Kids fight, sometimes, and some high school kids fight more than others. Some new research by Solnick and Hemenway has shown that with Boston public high school students, the degree of violence correlates with their drinking habits (1,2).

Not alcohol, of course, as they are high school students, but their tendency to down cans of soda. For example, those just hitting a level of 5 cans a week were more likely to be violent with their peer group and were more likely to be carrying a weapon.

The survey size was 1,800 students, so not a small number. Those that had carried a weapon at some time in the past year, had chosen a knife or a gun. Only 23% of those who had one can or less of full-strength soda, not that wimpy diet stuff, said that they had carried a weapon, but for those hitting the 5+ can mark, the percentage rose to 43%.

Numerous other studies have linked bad behavior to nutrition (2), and there are some indications that glucose metabolism problems may be a major factor. There is a legal precedent from 1979 in a San Francisco court where a homicide charge was downgraded to voluntary manslaughter due to the defendant washing down his junk food with Coke (2).

I will have to take care next time I visit a bar. Myer’s rum and Coke, or a Plymouth gin and tonic may lead to less than my best behavior. The synergism between the ethanol, glucose and, maybe caffeine, will have to be carefully monitored. The study could take some time!

  1. http://injuryprevention.bmj.com/content/early/2011/10/14/injuryprev-2011-040117
  2. http://news.discovery.com/human/soda-violence-teens-111024.html

One Response so far.

  1. This information may come as a surprise to a lot of parents, especially since sodas are usually seen as harmless substances. Perhaps parents can better monitor teen behavior through this new insight.

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