Drinking Soda Contributes to Children’s Bad Behavior, Study Says

October 4, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. aggressive [uh-GRES-iv] (adj.) – violent or likely to attack
Example: The principal called the boy’s parents because of his aggressive behavior.

2. stimulant [STIM-yuh-luh nt] (n.) – something that increases activity, interest, or enthusiasm in something
Example: Caffeine is one of the stimulants that can increase a person’s blood pressure.

3. contribute [kuh n-TRIB-yoot] (v.) – to give something, especially to help make something happen
Example: Having no proper guidance contributed to the child’s bad behavior.

4. checklist [CHEK-list] (n.) – a list of things that must be done
Example: The checklist helped the child finish all the chores he needed to do today.

5. adolescent [ad-l-ES-uh nt] (n.) – a person who has just gone through puberty and is entering adulthood
Example: Some adolescents still act childish because they don’t feel mature yet.


Read the text below.
A new study by the researchers from Columbia University, Harvard, and University of Vermont shows that soda may cause young children to become aggressive.

The researchers studied around 3,000 children aged five and asked the mothers to report their child's soda consumption. Mothers also accomplished a checklist on their child’s behavior in the last two months to measure attention and aggression. The researchers also asked mothers how many servings of soda their children drank per day.

Overall, 43% of the kids drank at least one soda per day and 4% drank four or more servings. Dr. Shakira Suglia, epidemiologist at the Mailman School of Public Health, also said that the more soda a child drinks per day, the more aggressive he or she becomes.

Compared with children who did not consume any soda, those who had four or more soda a day were over twice as likely to be aggressive. Being aggressive involves destroying other people's belongings, physically attacking others, and engaging into fights.

This research agrees with previous studies saying that adolescents were more aggressive toward others and more likely to hurt themselves the more soda they drank.

Given the results, the researchers clarified that the relationship between drinking soda and aggression is yet to be proven.  Suglia also added that soda contains caffeine, a mild stimulant that may contribute to a child’s aggressive behavior.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Why do you think soda makes children more aggressive? Please explain your answer.
·         Aside from soda, what other things can contribute to a child’s bad behavior? Please explain your answer.

Discussion B

·         After reading the article, would you prevent yourself or your children from drinking soda? Why or why not?
·         In your opinion, how do you think parents can stop their children’s bad behavior?


October 4, 2013