Soda makes teens violent?

Has the “Twinkie Defense” been validated?

A new study in the journal Injury Prevention reports that adolescents who consumed more than 5 cans of soda per week were more likley to engage in violent behaviors (e.g., carrying a gun and violence towards friends, girlfriends and children).

The researchers hypothesize that it might be the sugar, or some organic factor that leads to high soft drink consumption and aggressive behavior.

This of course is the stupidest of studies, first for entirely relying upon the responses of teens to in-class surveys — i.e., unverified self-reporting — and next for essentially likening sugar to PCP.

The premise for the study was:

In 1979, Dan White was tried for the assassinations of San Francisco city district Supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone. His lawyers argued that he had diminished capacity and was unable to premeditate his crime. Part of the evidence for his depressed and altered state of mind was that he had recently changed from a health-conscious diet to junk food and Coca-Cola. Although Twinkies, a popular packaged snack cake filled with cream, were mentioned only in passing during the trial, the legal argument became known as the ‘Twinkie Defense’. The defence was successful: White was convicted of voluntary manslaughter rather than homicide.

By the way, this effort to rename the “Twinkie Defense” as the “Coca-Cola Defense” was another example of your tax dollars at work, courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Why not just let the government take the money to Vegas? At least taxpayers would have a chance for a positive outcome.

7 thoughts on “Soda makes teens violent?”

  1. Even if the teens self-reported soda drinking had been properly observed instead, where is the element of causation suggested? Perhaps violent youths tend toward junk-food diets because they have no time for proper eating and drinking, with all their anti-social activities. And is there something abnormal about teens who drink soda, but yet are not violent? This is junk-food junk science.

  2. Beyond preposterous.

    I have nothing to add beyond what has already been said, I just wanted to interject with a new catchphrase.

  3. The secrets to successful data mining include:
    (1) allege an association between whatever you choose to demonize and some heinous circumstance (do not bother with causation because that can be eventually disproved)
    (2) nobody of consequence ever seriously investigates the allegation, and if they do, you can claim they are bought and paid for by nefarious special interests
    (3) claim ‘scientific’ support, even if the ‘work’ involved uncontrolled studies, anecdotal evidence, or self-reporting of allegedly random subjects.

  4. Not even a can per day and you become a ultra violent? Just think of the rage one gets from a Big Gulp. I suppose replacing the sugar from sody pop with sugar from fruit wouldn’t have the same affect, or didn’t they look at that.

    John Carter: water about 100% fatal. Just about everyone who has died has been in contact with water.

  5. I used to taekwondo, before a club fight… you’d see the teens take high powered fizzy pop cafinated sugary drinks.

    Damn were they aggressive.

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