Children who eat sweets every day are more likely to be violent as adults, possibly because they want instant gratification, a British psychological study has suggested.
The research, by researchers at Cardiff University in Wales,
took around 17 000 babies born in 1970 and monitored them at age five, 10 and 34 years old to see if there was a correlation.
It found that 69% of those who had been found guilty of
offences involving violence reported they had eaten confectionery
nearly every day during childhood, compared to 42% of those
who were non-violent.
Study condemned by drink industry
"Our favoured explanation is that giving children sweets and
chocolate regularly may stop them learning how to wait to obtain
something they want," lead researcher Simon Moore said.
"Not being able to defer gratification may push them towards
more impulsive behaviour, which is strongly associated with
delinquency," he added in the study, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry.
But the study was condemned as "utter nonsense" by the Food and Drink Federation, which represents Britain's food and drink industry.
"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," said its director of communications Julian Hunt.
"How anyone could leap to such a conclusion is beyond me." – (Sapa, October 2009)
Social class dictates teen diet