Soda and the Scientific Pile-On Effect

Soda Revenue Drops In U.S.(Comment by David Chang, Aug 29)“The bubbling soda drinks may have pacifier effect upon young children. That is, soda drinks may act to soothe or even tranquilize their young children. The caffeine or obesity problem of the soda drinks simply do not worth it to worry about. The real problem worth us to worry about would be which soda shall we choose and how shall we choose from them, for example, choose from between the Pepsi Coke and the Coca Cola? Just discerning or discriminating the color from their packages and decide which soda you choose?”

Ideas

Drinking soda is known to contribute to obesity, leading to efforts to remove soda from schools and to Mayor Bloomberg’s recently overturned ban on large-sized sodas in New York City. Last week, new research by Shakira Suglia, Sarah Solnik and David Hemenway in the Journal of Pediatrics correlated soda with aggression and attention problems in young children. Solnik and Hemenway had already published research last year showing a correlation between soda and aggression in teens.

So, is soda leading to the decline of civilization as we know it? Well maybe, but maybe not.

The Journal of Pediatrics study is actually well done. They use a clinically validated measure of aggression (surprisingly rare in aggression studies) and control for numerous other variables. The effects are small, but not insignificant. However, all data were collected from a single source (the mothers of the children in the study), which can sometimes cause spurious…

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