US study links fizzy drinks with violent assaults

New research from US scientists shows that drinking more than five cans of fizzy drink a week is linked to significantly higher levels of violence among teenagers, reports The Times.

The findings — published in the journal Injury Prevention —were based on a survey of 1,878 teenagers aged 14 to 18 from 22 state schools in Boston. Participants were asked how many non-diet fizzy soft drinks they had had during the past week.

The researchers say that over 23% of those who drank one or no cans carried a gun or knife, but this rose to 43% of those drinking 14 or more cans.

Sara Solnick, of the University of Vermont, concluded: “There was a significant and strong association between soft drinks and violence.”

Seena Fazel, senior lecturer in forensic psychiatry at the University of Oxford, told The Times: “It does suggest that a trial of an intervention to reduce high soft-drink consumption may be worth considering in high-risk populations.”