Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Does Sugar Make Kids Hyper?

You hear all the time that kids get hyper when they eat too much sugar.  This usually comes up when kids are having friends over and eat too much candy or have a birthday party and eat too much cake.  But is this statement true?  Does sugar really make kids hyper?  The answer is no.  Several studies from the mid 1990s show no link between sugar and hyperactivity in kids.


So why is there a misconception regarding sugar and hyperactivity?  Why do most people link sugar to hyperactivity in kids?  It's hard to say but there are a few possible explanations.  People tend to link hyper kids to events where there are other kids (e.g. birthday parties, holiday parties, family reunions).  There is usually an overabundance of sugar at these events in the form of desserts, cakes, candies, etc.  Everyone tends to eat a bit too much sugar at these events, but it's not the sugar that makes kids hyperactive.  These events are also opportunities for kids to play with kids who they may normally not play with in groups.  As a result, kids are already excited and hyped up for this reason.  Parents are the ones that then link this to sugar.  Remove all of the sugar at the event and your kids will still act hyper due the excitement of having a bunch of other kids to play around with.

So to repeat, no, sugar does not cause hyperactivity in kids.  The science destroys this myth.

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