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Kids & Soda

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Seven-year-old Simon Wilkerson knows why he likes soda. "Because it's, it's delicious."

His six-year-old brother Milo also enjoys the occasional soft drink. "Because it's yummy."

And sometimes, their two-year-old brother Jude takes a sip of soda too. But a new study from Columbia University shows all that soda may affect the behavior of young kids.

"Children who are consuming four drinks of soda are exhibiting higher, higher aggressive behavior, attentions problems and withdrawal behaviors," says Dr. Shakira Suglia, of Columbia University.

The study looked at data on nearly 3,000 five year olds and found 4% drank four or more sodas a day.

43% of children in the study drank at least one soda a day. Researchers found even that amount could make kids more aggressive. "As the number of sodas increased, so does the aggressive behavior."

The American Beverage Association disputes the findings, calling it a "leap" to suggest soda causes behavioral issues.

Elisabeth Wilkerson says she limits how much soda she lets her boys drink.

"I think as long as you balance it with healthy drinks and healthy foods and activity, once in a while isn't going to kill them, and it removes the taboo."

Doctors say it's a good idea to limit soda- because sugary drinks have been linked to other health problems, like obesity.

The study's researcher says ingredients in soda - like sugar and caffeine - may affect behavior - but more study is needed.

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