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Wednesday, 1 December 2010

How Lemonade Curbs Aggression

Need to give somebody some bad news and fear they may get just a little bit angry with you? Give them some Sugary Lemonade first and be amazed at the difference!

A recent study has found that people who drink a glass of lemonade with sugar acted less aggressively toward a stranger a few minutes later than people who consumed lemonade with a sugar substitute.

Now why would this make a difference? The researchers suggest that the increased glucose in the sugared lemonade allows the person to have greater self control, which enables them to avoid their angry impulse. This is because self control takes a lot of energy, and the extra glucose gives this energy to the brain.

It was also found in other studies that that people who have trouble using glucose in their bodies show more evidence of aggression.

"Diabetes may not only harm yourself -- it is bad for society," said Bushman (co-author of the study.) This is because those with diabetes struggle with using their glucose, meaning, this study suggests, they are likely to suffer from increased aggression.

"To our knowledge, this is the first study to find that boosting glucose levels can reduce actual aggressive behavior," Bushman said.

Interestingly, when 2001 data was anaysed, the researchers found that diabetes rates for each of the 50 US states were linked to violent crime rates. Those states with higher diabetes rates also tended to have higher rates of murder, assault, rape and robbery, even after controlling for poverty rates in each state.

In a Prisoner's Dilemma experiment, those who scored higher on diabetic symptoms were less likely to forgive an initially uncooperative partner, when compared to those who scored lower on diabetic symptoms.

Evidence does seem to be mounting against those who cannot metabolise their clucose correctly!

The researchers believe that "with the rate of diabetes increasing worldwide, it is something that should concern all of us."

And maybe it should!

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