Sugar doesn’t make children hyperactive

Contrary to what one might think so far, no study would have established that an excess of sugar made children hyperactive.

This is a belief so deeply rooted in people’s minds that it would take many means to hope to dislodge it. At the scene of a particularly agitated child, it thus seems very easy to think that this one has swallowed far too many sweets for his own good. The famous “excess sugar” that would lead to hyperglycemia. About ten years ago, Yale Scientific Magazine posed the following question: “Does sugar really make children hyperactive?”

Sugar and hyperactivity: a supposed link mentioned in 1973

The first studies on the subject had been initiated following the popularity, in 1973, of the Feingold diet which recommended avoiding food additives because they were likely to cause hyperactivity. It should be noted that at that time, sugar was not considered as a food additive, before finally joining the list on the basis of popular belief.

Studies that have never been able to confirm the belief

The work carried out over time has never really been able to prove a real causal link between sugar consumption and hyperactivity. We are given the example of Doctor Hoover of the University of Kentucky (United States) who assured that removing and adding additives to children’s diets could make them hyperactive, while objective clinical tests have given the opposite results . As for Doctor Wolraich of the University of Iowa, he had observed no difference between two groups of children who had been given sucrose, aspartame or saccharin, whereas one of these groups had a particular sensitivity to sugar.

Confusing symptoms

Other studies have nevertheless highlighted a deficit of attention and an intensified production of adrenaline following a large consumption of sugar. With symptoms similar to those of hyperactivity, one can understand the persistent confusion. Still, sugar is certainly no stranger to cavities and cases of obesity and diabetes. In other words, vigilance is still required.

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