The scary link between kids, soft drinks and violence

Should young children drink soft drinks? Um, no, but they shouldn't eat chips, chocolate, ice cream and lollies either.

Parents understand treat foods vs real foods and it's okay for our children to eat these foods occasionally. But soft drinks need a rethink for young children. They really aren't a good idea. And here's why.

Not only do soft drinks contribute to Australia's childhood obesity epidemic, but a new study suggests they also make our kids more violent.

Public health researchers in the US observed thousands of 5-year-olds. The more soft drink they were allowed to drink, the more often they damaged things and injured other children.

Lead researcher Dr. Shakira Suglia told CBS News, "We found a significant relation with soda consumption with the overall measure of aggression and with the three specific behaviors we felt were most indicative of aggression: destroying things belonging to others, getting into fights and physically attacking people."

Children who regularly drink soft drinks also had trouble paying attention, showed more aggression and demonstrated withdrawn behaviour.

So why are soft drinks so bad for young kids? It's not only the massive sugar content but it's also the fact they are highly processed using aspartame, sodium benzoate, phosphoric or citric acid, sometimes caffeine...yum right?

Limiting soft drinks in our children's diets can led to a reduction in behavioural problems and even sleeping issues.

The study appeared in The Journal of Pediatrics and was funded by the US government's National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

What is the one food or drink you give your kids that you know you shouldn't?