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Kindergartners’ Soda Intake Linked to Aggression in Study

By Amy Norton

Five-year-olds who drink soda every day may have more behavior problems than kids with soda-free diets, a new study of U.S. children suggests.

After looking at nearly 3,000 urban families, the researchers found that 5-year-olds’ scores on a standard measure of aggression tended to climb along with their soft drink intake.

Kindergartners who downed four or more servings per day were particularly aggressive, based on mothers’ reports. They were twice as likely as other kids to get into fights or destroy property, and also displayed more attention problems than children who didn’t drink soda.

The findings were reported Aug. 16 in the Journal of Pediatrics.

The results are based on more than 2,900 mother-child pairs from 20 U.S. cities, many of whom were from single-mom, lower-income households. At age 5, the mothers reported, 43 percent of the children drank soda at least once a day, with 4 percent downing four or more every day.

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