Childhood Diseases

Posted by: karen | 2011/03/17


sugar myth

I read that sugar does not make children hyperactive is this true

Expert's Reply



Several careful and extensive studies have shown that sugar as such does not cause children to be hyperactive, but sweets containing colourants and preservatives can certainly affect children's behaviour.

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user comments


Posted by: Purple | 2011/03/18

Yes, its true.

Plenty of research has been done into this and a few years ago the BBC did the experiment on TV and did it as a TV show presented by Robert Winston (the professor doing that 20 year study of children through their lives that you sometimes see bits and pieces of on TV - I think the kids are about ten now - they''ve been assess regularly since their mothers pregnancies).

What they did on the TV show was to take a group of children to a party that was set up. The parents dropped them off and weren''t at the party.
The children were fed raw vegetables and dips (cauliflower, carrots sticks, broccolli etc), they had wholewheat biscuits (I suppose similar to provitas) and were given water to drink.
Then the entertainment started - there were jumping castles, face painting, loud music, musical chairs, musical statues, free dancing and the party organisers really got the kids into a frenzy.

The parents then fetched the children and took them home and were interviewed about the childrens behaviour.
They went on and on about the sugar and how their children were bouncing off the walls and hyperactive and so on and so on.

The next week the kids went to another party.
They were fed an assortment of high sugar content sweets, sthey were given sugar to add to their fizzy drinks. Just imagine being in sweetie land at the top of the magic far away tree and you have the picture. They were encouraged to eat more and more.
Then they sat and did some quiet crafts.
Not a single child got up or misbehaved, they made their craft things and were then collected by their parents and taken home.

The parents were interviewed and all said how nice it was that their kids had been to this healthy party and what a difference having no sugar had made.

Even when the parents were told afterwards most refused to believe what they were hearing.

Sugar has a lot of kilojoules (energy) in it, and too much of this, like too much of anything will make someone fat. It does not however make anyone hyperactive.
Honey and fruit both contain forms of sugar which are digested in similar ways and nobody goes on about how these make children hyperactive - however, diabetics still need to be careful of these just like with sugar because of the sucrose / fructose / glucose content.

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