Feature

Health scare of the week: Your candy or your life

A new study suggests that children who eat a lot of candy and other sweets are more likely to grow up to be criminals.

Children who eat a lot of candy and other sweets are more likely to grow up to be criminals, a new study suggests. The British study, which tracked 17,500 people over decades, found that 69 percent of people with convictions for violent crimes ate sweets daily when they were kids. Of those who hadn’t been violent, only 42 percent consumed candy every day as kids. Why? It’s possible that the sugar or additives in candy influences kids’ behavior directly, researcher Simon Moore tells the Toronto Globe and Mail, but it’s more likely that eating sweets serves as a marker of both impulsivity and a lack of discipline in the home. Kids who binge on sweets fail to develop self-control, which makes them more prone to violence as adults. Health experts cautioned against mistaking correlation for causation. You can give kids candy “in moderation,” says Melinda Johnson of the American Dietetic Association, “as long as the overall diet of the child is well-rounded.”

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