This study investigated whether soft drink consumption is related to fighting and bullying behaviour among school-aged children and whether nervousness and irritation mediated this relationship.
The data on 7583 adolescents aged 11-15 years from the Slovak part of the Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children (HBSC) study 2010 were analysed. Self-reported soft drink intake, bullying, fighting, nervousness, irritability and confounding variables were analysed using logistic regressions. To assess the potential mediation of daily nervousness and irritability on the association between soft drink consumption and aggressive behaviour, we used Sobel tests.
Adolescents' daily soft drink consumption was associated with bullying and fighting, and these relationships were partially mediated by nervousness and irritability. Adjustment of the analyses on gender, age and family affluence did not change the estimates.
Adolescents' daily soft drink consumption was associated with negative mood deviations such as nervousness and irritability and with aggressive behaviour in the form of bullying and fighting. Our findings provide new evidence about soft drink consumption-related risks and thus can contribute to the preventive actions aimed at reducing them.