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Short takes on the news

Published August 27, 2013 12:17 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Any soda too much • A new study by researchers at several prestigious American universities is a warning to parents: Eliminate soft drinks if you want to reduce your child's aggressive behavior. It does seem, as one expert said, "a no-brainer." Young children who drink sugary soda tend to break things, hit people and throw tantrums more than kids who don't. The study found that any soda at all resulted in more aggressiveness, but more soda meant more aggression, more attention problems and an increase in withdrawn behavior. The effects of soft drinks on teenagers is well-documented, and this study just reinforces the need to keep children from developing a soda habit in their early years.

Analyzing a fantasy • The Utah Legislature is spending a bundle of money to test the hypothesis that state management of federal lands in Utah would lead to greater economic development — the main justification of the 2012 Public Lands Transfer Act demanding Congress turn over the land to the state. Researchers at Utah's public universities will look at the costs and benefits of the state taking over almost all the lands on which the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management now spend tens of millions of dollars from all American taxpayers fighting fires, managing grazing, patrolling, safeguarding cultural resources and other obligations. Any revenue from increased mining and drilling must be compared to the harm done by those industries. The cost/benefit analysis is probably a fool's errand, since there is nothing to support the idea that such a land transfer would ever happen.