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Are Chicken Wings Turning Our Children Into Monsters?

A recent study found that biting into chicken wings might make children rowdier than those who eat pre-cut protein. Perhaps the only solution to aggro kids is a steady diet of pre-ground mush and an intravenous supply of horse sedatives.
Photo via Flickr user anotherpintplease

There might be an argument in favor of feeding your kids the processed protein goop sold as chicken nuggets.

A recent study by Cornell University researchers found that children who ate foods that had to be bitten with their front teeth—such as chicken wings and corn on the cob—made them more aggressive than kids who ate pre-cut foods.

The researchers observed 12 elementary school-aged children at a 4-H summer camp over the course of two days. Half the group was given chicken on the bone, and the other given cut-up chicken. Professor Brian Wansink and his team found that children in the bone-in group were rowdier and twice as likely to disobey camp counselors. They suggested that using front teeth to bite might be connected to more aggressive behaviors, as it is in wild animals and Luis Suarez.

The research is, of course, preliminary—and a sample size of 12 rugrats observed over 48 hours is hardly definitive of anything. Then again, former Turkmen dictator Saparmurat Niyazov once advised his countrymen to chew on bones as dogs do in order to strengthen their teeth, and few people would call a man who banned lip-syncing easygoing. We blame the bones.

So, is the key to placid children a steady diet of pre-ground mush and an intravenous supply of horse sedatives? Perhaps. Then again, a study published in the Journal of Pediatrics last year found a correlation between behavior problems in kindergarteners and high levels of soda consumption, so flesh-ripping behavior isn't entirely to blame for monstrous children.

It might be worth cutting out all of those delicious, highly processed calories from your tykes' diets in order to avoid raising a bunch of Lizzie Bordens, and focusing instead on fresh foods that they don't need to rip to shreds like a pack of hyenas.