Wednesday, June 29, 2011

You can Eat Only One Piece of Halloween Candy!

As a child, my parents allowed me to eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I used to eat ice cream for breakfast and chocolate all the time. Growing up, one would think I would be hyper in my childhood years because of the common belief that sugar causes hyperactivity in children. In my case, and in most with other children, this is not true at all. In fact, I was never a hyper child. So how can it be that sugar never made me hyper but “causes” other children to be? As stated, this is a myth and is actually proven to be false.
As with other myths, this one is continuously passed around by word of mouth. Parents believe that if they give their child sugar, their child will run wild. What the parents do not realize is that the environment that the child is in, or even how the child is raised, is what causes this hyperactivity, not the sugar. Many times when children become hyper it is when they are attending a party or something that will excite them, hence the reason for the hyperactivity. Another cause may be that if the parent is allowing the child to consume sugar and they appear hyper, the parent is lenient in other ways and allows their child to run wild, therefore there is no control over the child.
As stated in the YouTube video posted, there have been experiments performed to test this theory and the results have been that the placebo effect is actually what plays a role in this belief. Parents who were told that their child had consumed sugar, when the child actually had not, reported that their child was more hyper. This is evidence that parents are influenced by the belief of the correlation between sugar and hyperactivity, when in reality there is no correlation between the two.

Lawson, Timothy J. Scientific Perspectives on Pseudoscience and the Paranormal: Readings for General Psychology. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2007. Print.
"YouTube - ‪Does Sugar Cause Hyperactivity in Children?‬‏." YouTube - Broadcast Yourself. 19 Apr. 2010. Web. 29 June 2011. .


  1. What an interesting article. This really changes my belief that kids are hyper due to having sugar; instead it is because of other factors like being exited during an event.

  2. I learned that sugar didn't cause hyperactivity in high school psychology. To this day, as a nanny, I hear mother's commenting about how their kids can't have sugar because it will cause them to be hyper. I chose not to correct them though, I just nod my head in agreement. Ha!

  3. I found this post to be interesting. I wasn't much of the hyper type as a kid also. Candy and soda do not really effect me at all. I've heard my cousins say to their kids to lay off on the candies and that they'll get hyper and bounce off the walls. I honestly think that it's just a way of avoiding the dentist (nobody likes having cavities).