Reuters (8/16, Seaman) reports that research published online in the Journal of Pediatrics suggests that soda consumption may be linked to certain behavior problems in children.
Investigators followed the habits of about 3,000 mother-child pairs. Information on soda consumption was compiled when the children were 5 years old. The mothers were asked to self-report how many servings of soda their child drinks on a typical day, and to answer a series of behavioral questions. The investigators say they found a correlation between 5-year-olds’ soft-drink consumption and aggression, attention problems and withdrawn behavior. Previous research has suggested an association between soft drinks and older children’s aggression, depression and suicidal thoughts.
Probable intervening variable: Mothers who don't limit their children's food choices or amounts thereof are also very likely poor administrators of other necessary forms of discipline, which in turn creates the aggression, attention problems and withdrawn behavior in the kids.
But you'll rarely see a possibility like that mentioned in a journal article or the news report about it.
Repeat after me: Correlation is not causation. Correlation is not causation. Correlation is not causation...