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article imageStudy: Children who eat candy more prone to violence as adults

By Kevin Jess     Oct 1, 2009 in Health
New research suggests that children who eat too much candy and chocolate may be more likely to be arrested for violent crimes as adults.
A 1970 British Cohort Study of 17,500 participants has found that 10-year-old children who ate candy on a daily basis were much more likely to be convicted of a violent crime by the age of 34 says a press release from the Royal College of Psychiatrists.
It is the first study to look at the long term effects of childhood diet and how it relates to violence when they reach adulthood.
The research, conducted by Cardiff University found that of the children who ate candy every day, 69 per cent of them were found to be violent at the age of 34, while 42 percent were not.
While the researchers conclude that the link between candy consumption and violent behaviour requires more study they have put forward ideas that may explain the outcome.
“Our favoured explanation is that giving children sweets and chocolate regularly may stop them learning how to wait to obtain something they want. Not being able to defer gratification may push them towards more impulsive behaviour, which is strongly associated with delinquency,” said lead researcher Dr. Simon Moore in the press release.
Moore says that parents who bribe their children with sweets in order to obtain good behaviour are doing more good than harm.
In an interview with Associated Press, Mr. Moore admitted that the results were not strong enough to be recommending to parents that they stop giving sweets to their children.
He said, “This is an incredibly complex area. It’s not fair to blame it on the candy.”
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