Children of women who drank soda daily while pregnant were more likely to experience ADHD symptoms at age eight.
Consuming high levels of sugar-sweetened beverages early in life may lead to memory problems during adulthood. Researchers found, compared to rats who consumed only water, those who drank sugar-sweetened beverages had difficulties in memory recall associated with the hippocampus. The study also found a link between specific changes in gut bacteria in rats who drank sugary drinks and impaired brain function.
Soft drink consumption during early adolescence predicted more aggressive behavior later in teen years. Aggressive behavior at 13 also predicted increased soft drink consumption at age 16. Soft drink consumption at 13 predicted fewer depressive symptoms, but depressive symptoms did not predict soda consumption. Findings suggest reducing soda consumption during adolescence could help curb aggressive behaviors.
An observational study found a link between sugary drink consumption and an increased risk of cancer. 100ml of sugary drinks per day was associated with an 18% risk of cancer overall, and a 22% increased risk of breast cancer. Researchers speculate the effect of sugar in sodas and fruit juices may be tied to blood sugar levels and inflammation, which are linked to the development of cancer. Other compounds, such as additives, may also play a role.
In addition to having implications for personal health, sugar sweetened drinks may have addictive properties, researchers report. The study found when abstaining from drinking sweetened drinks, people who consume them often experience increased headaches, decreased motivation and a lower ability to concentrate.
Researchers warn pregnant women and their children to avoid drinking too many sodas, as excessive amounts of sugar in these drinks can negatively impact memory and learning. However, consuming fruits appears to be beneficial for cognitive development, the study reports.
A new study links consumption of sugary, caffeinated drinks to shorter sleep duration in adults.