Association between Soft Drink Consumption and Aggressive Behaviour among a Quarter Million Adolescents from 64 Countries Based on the Global School-Based Student Health Survey (GSHS)
Human Nutrition Department, College of Health Sciences, QU Health, Qatar University, 2713 Doha, Qatar
Department of Biomedical Sciences, College of Health Sciences, QU Health, Qatar University, 2713 Doha, Qatar
Department of Mathematics, Statistics and Physics, College of Health Sciences, QU Health, Qatar University, 2713 Doha, Qatar
University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2020, 12(3), 694; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12030694
Received: 10 February 2020 / Revised: 2 March 2020 / Accepted: 3 March 2020 / Published: 5 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Nutritional Epidemiology)
Soft drink consumption has become a significant public health concern that is associated with various adverse health outcomes. We aim to examine the association between soft drink consumption and aggressive behavior among adolescents. We used open access data from 79 studies in 64 countries, including 263,890 adolescents aged 12–18 years who completed the global school-based student health survey (GSHS). Self-reported data on past 30-day carbonated soft drink consumption (number of times per day) and past 12-month physical fighting were utilized for analysis. Of the 263,890 participants (48% boys) aged 12–18 years, the weighted mean frequency of soft drink consumption varied from 0.5 in Kiribati to 2.5 times/day in Surname, while the weighted prevalence of frequent aggressive behavior varied from to 2.7% in Laos to 49.2% in Tuvalu. We found that each increment of soft drink consumption (time/day) was associated with an 11% (95%CI 10–13%) increase of the likelihood of frequent physical fighting. This result remained significant after adjusting for various covariates. In this large pooled sample of multinational data, there is a significant positive association between soft drink consumption and aggressive behavior among adolescents. Reducing soft drink consumption may help reduce aggressive behavior, a major risk factor for violence.