Children who consume too much sugar are more likely to become involved in fighting, smoking and bullying.
Children with the most sugar in their diets are 78% more likely to involve themselves in ‘risky’ behaviours.
Sugary drinks seem to encourage riskier behaviour than sweets and chocolate.
‘This study underscores the importance of directing public health attention to the interconnections between healthy nutrition and behavioural tendencies during adolescent years,’ the authors of the study said.
‘Since sugary drinks also often contain additives, including caffeine, it is possible sugar in combination with some additives makes soft drinks a more powerful or consistent predictor.’
Children consuming too much sugar
Children in England are consuming double their recommended daily sugar intake, according to figures from Public Health England.
Four to 10 years old are consuming 13 cubes of sugar on average every day, more than double the RDA.
A quarter of five-year-olds suffer with tooth decay partly due to the high sugar content in their diet.
‘Snacks and drinks are adding unnecessary sugar to children’s diets without us even noticing,’ Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at Public Health England, said.
‘Swapping to lower or no added sugar alternatives is something all parents can work towards.’