Apparently caffeinated beverages are not teaching the world to sing in perfect harmony.

Though they didn't name specific brands of soda, researchers report that teens who over-indulged in non-diet, carbonated soft drinks per week are extra violent. They studied 1,878 kids at 22 Boston public high schools.

Of those who drank 14 or more cans per week, 43 percent carried a gun or knife. Of those who drank one or fewer sodas per week, 23 percent carried such weapons. And when it came to taking the next step and actually perpetrating violence, 27 percent of the heavy soda drinkers did so compared with 15 percent of the more moderate drinkers.

The researchers, who published their study in the online journal Injury Prevention, said the effect has "the same magnitude as the impact of alcohol or tobacco," though they don't know if it's the sugar, the caffeine, or something else entirely that's causing the violence. The Boston teens are not alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, male teenagers across the country drink 22 ounces of full-calorie soda per day on average, and females drink 14 ounces. Until we can figure out how to get them to step away from the soft drinks, let's do our best not to make them angry.

[Injury Prevention]


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