Daily Sweets Linked to Violence

Violent adults are more likely to have eaten candy as kids, study finds
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 1, 2009 6:14 AM CDT
The study, published in the "British Journal of Psychiatry," found a significant statistical link between children's candy consumption and later violent behavior.   (©chefranden)
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(Newser) – Think twice before buying your child that chocolate bar—new research by psychiatrists shows that children who eat candy every day are more likely to grow into violent adults. The research, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, found that 69% of children in the study later convicted of a violent crime ate sweets daily as kids, while only 42% of non-violent adults had.

The conclusion held even when researchers controlled for external factors, such as social environment. "Our favored explanation is that giving children sweets and chocolate regularly may stop them learning how to wait to obtain something they want," said the researcher who led the study. "Not being able to defer gratification may push them toward more impulsive behavior, which is strongly associated with delinquency."