Wednesday, March 24, 2010

If Sugar Doesn't Make Kids Hyper... Then What Does?

If you have ever been around a child that has recently eaten any type of food that contains sugar, you probably notice that they become more rambunctious. Now recall the settings of where you have been when children have consumed tons of sugar? It may be at a birthday party, when you have family visiting, or after they have scored the winning goal for their soccer team. The reason for the sudden hyperness is simple, the child is in a FUN environment.

Research has shown that there is no connection between sugar and hyperactivity among children. In 1994, a study was published in the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology showed that a parent who believes their child's behavior is affected by sugar are led to perceive their child as more hyperactive after they have consumed some sort of sugary drink. Parents need to take into account how their children act on a normal bases as well as when they have had some type of sugar.

Parent observations of their children's behavior is still very important. If parents are still concerned with their child's behavior (when consuming or not consuming sugar), they should consult their pediatrician. Hyperactivity may play into a child's life even when sugary foods are not present. Some of the symptoms include: temperament, emotional disturbances, learning disorders (such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders), and poor sleep patterns. Parents may also consider altering a child's diet if the problems still persist.


  1. I have to admit that I actually used to belive that this was true and took it as fact. After learning more about this in class and reading about it in you post I actually did think about it a little. I could not recall any instances where it was the environment that caused the child I was with to act hyper. I always assumed it was because they were eating candy or drinking soda.
    SO because I could not think of an instance in the past to support the claims that sugar has no effect on a child I decided to just be proactive and observe the kids in my life. I would notice that alot of what they ate was filled with sugar and that most of the time they never really acted out. It was only when they would be really excited or acting out in some way that I would hear a family say "what did you feed that kid!?" Only when the kid was bad was the fact that they ate sugar talked about. So I found out that sugar gets a bad rap for no real reason (at least when it comes to kids being hyper).

  2. I used to believe this too. I have a bunch of cousins who are 10 years old and younger and they believe this myth. It's funny because I saw them this past Easter and they were raving about how much sugar they ate that day and how hyper they were going be. I just laughed and pretended to believe it. They were going crazy, but because they believed the sugar was causing it, not because it actually was.