Lifewatch: Study says candy leads to aggressive behavior

Reported by Claire Hosmann - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

(WECT) - A new study out of the United Kingdom is reporting that children who eat candy everyday are more likely to become violent as adults.

"What we've found is that kids that are eating sweets every day when they are 10 years old are more likely to be arrested for a violent offense by the time they get to the age of 34 years," said researcher Simon Moore.

The study flags up several possible explanations.

In many cases already disruptive children are given sweets in effort to quiet them down - so they're being rewarded for bad behavior.

Regularly feeding children sweets and chocolate may mean they don't learn how to wait for things - causing aggression in later life.

"I don't think the aggression and the violence stems from sweets - I think it's the upbringing and the way the household is," said chef Aldo Zilli.

Critics of the study say social and environmental factors are to blame, and research team doesn't entirely disagree.  They suggest that it's the way the sweets are given rather than the sweets themselves that can be the cause of future problems.

A researcher recently published controversial findings saying that prisoners who were fed vitamin supplements had lower rates of disciplinary events than a control group who were given placebo pills.

The study found that 69 percent of the participants who were violent by the age of 34 had eaten sweets and chocolates almost every day during childhood, compared with 42 percent who showed no aggressive behavior.