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Tuesday 16th January 2018

Violence linked to daily sweets

1st October 2009

Research has claimed that children who eat sweets and chocolate every day are more likely to turn into violent adults.


A team from Cardiff University focused on 17,500 people as part of what is the first major study into the effects of childhood diet on adult violence.

Those who ate sweets daily as 10-year-olds were more likely to have a conviction for violence by the time they were 34.

That suggested link between confectionery and aggression later in life remained even after controlling for other factors such as parenting behaviour, the area where the child lived or not having educational qualifications after the age of 16.

Study leader Dr Simon Moore said: “Our favoured explanation is that giving children sweets and chocolate regularly may stop them learning how to wait to obtain something they want.

"Not being able to defer gratification may push them towards more impulsive behaviour, which is strongly associated with delinquency.”

The group said that if resources focused on child diets, there could be an impact in reducing aggression as well as health improvements.

The UK Faculty of Public Health said the idea was “interesting” and needed looking into more deeply.

However, the study - reported in the British Journal of Psychiatry – was dismissed as “utter nonsense” by the Food and Drink Federation (FDF).

FDF Spokesman Julian Hunt said: “Anti-social behaviour stems from deep-rooted social and environmental factors, such as poor parenting and a deprived upbringing, and is not linked to whether or not you ate sweeties as a kid.”


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