Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Sweets Lead to Violence?

A recent study you may have seen, Sisters and Brothers, suggests a link between children who eat sweet things daily and later violence as adults.  Your Chocolate Priestess looked into this study a bit by following the links given below.  I want to point out a few facts and ask a few questions.

First this study at Cardiff University looked at a large number of people, 17,500 at three ages: 5, 10 and 34.   69% of those who had daily consumption of chocolates and other sweets were violent compared to 42% of those who did not eat sweets every day.

There is a lot of information in these general reports that I'd love to know about.  Did they use the same 17,500 for the entire duration of the study?  I'm assuming it is this is called a long-term study.  What is classified as a "sweet"?  Is it just candy or also cookies, cakes, drinks?  What is the method of tracking consumption? Self-reporting or actual observation for weeks at a time?  Why only these three ages?  Wouldn't it have made more sense to track in regular intervals like five years so you could account for other developments more easily?

I also note that again our Sacred Substance is targeted in the labels for these articles but in the articles it suggests sweets include things other than chocolate.  Chocolate sells though whether it is as a health benefit or danger in advertising or simply marketing a product to consumers.  Is it the cacao causing the link or added sugar or the amount or the dailiness of consumption?  What about every other day versus once a week or once a month or never?  What then accounts for the 42% of the studied group without such a high rate of sweet consumption who were still violent?

Like some of the other scientists interviewed, I'm curious as to how much is the sweet problem and how much are other problems such a poor parenting.  The articles claim the study accounted for these differences but it doesn't say how the people were studied over this long period of almost three decades.

In general though, having candy every day is rarely a good idea especially if having those empty calories prevents you from having nutritious ones.  But isn't that part of our purpose here in The Chocolate Cult?  Moderation.

Sisters and Brothers, may you too take the time to slowly appreciate what the Divine and human ingenuity have offered you in chocolate.

Mother Nature Network article
iTWire article
BBC news article
Link to article itself but you must be member to read

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