“Don’t you dare give my child any more candy! He’s never going to sleep!”
The myth that sugar makes children hyperactive has been a long-standing belief among parents for decades. However, recent scientific research has shown that sugar does not make children hyperactive. In fact, studies have found that sugar does not have any effect on children’s behavior. Here are some citations that show why the myth of sugar making children hyperactive is false:
• In a study published in the journal Pediatrics, researchers found that sugar, including sucrose and fructose, had no effect on children’s behavior.
• Another study conducted at the University of California, Davis found that there was no difference in children’s behavior between those given sugar-free, artificially-sweetened beverages instead of sugar-sweetened beverages.
• Finally, a systematic review of the scientific literature concluded that sugar intake does not make children hyperactive. These studies clearly show that sugar has no effect on children’s behavior. Parents should not be concerned that sugar is making their children hyperactive.
So why is it that despite the evidence above children clearly seem more hyperactive when eating sugar? The most likely explanation is not the sugar, it is the setting where sugar is being offered- birthday parties, Halloween, holidays, family gatherings, and other exciting events that get children wired up and get us parents, well… exhausted.