With Halloween just around the corner, Let us see how sugar really affects children and adults. My personal opinion on hyperactivity due to sugar related foods is nonexistent. Several articles that I have read state the same thing. The science really has not been proven and there is not sufficient evidence that this is true, most are saying it is a myth. But the fact is most sugar induced it may actually be an innocent victim of guilty by association. “The biggest myth of all is that food has any connection to behavior,” says Steven Pliszka, MD, professor of psychiatry, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.
Where did the sugar hyperactivity theory come from? The notion that food can have an effect on behavior grew popular in 1973 when allergist Benjamin Feingold, M. D. , published the Feingold Diet. He advocated a diet free of salicylates, food colorings and artificial flavoring for treating hyperactivity. Although Feingolds diet didn’t call for eliminating sugar specifically, it did suggest to many parents that food additives might be better avoided.
Little surprise, then, that refined sugar soon came under scrutiny. Several studies have been done on Children from the ages of 3 to 10 years of age.They are still unable to make a definite connection between sugar and hyperactivity. Yes, 3 year olds to 10 years olds are going to be a little more hyper during Halloween parties, birthday parties, and get together with family and friends. Many parents associate sugar at these events to be causing their children to be hyperactive due to the behavior children are displaying. There is no evidence that consuming sugar or aspartame can make a child with a normal attention span hyperactive. There was a study done with children and parents that I think is just amazing and proves somewhat that sugar and hyperactivity is a Myth.
A number of researchers have investigated the “sugar hypothesis. ” For example, Wolraich and colleagues put children aged 3-10 on three different diets for three consecutive three-week periods. The children were either normal preschoolers, or grade school children who were described by their parents as being sensitive to sugar.
The children were given either one diet high in sucrose, one high in aspartame (an artificial sweetener), and one high in saccharin (a sweet substance that presumably has no effect on behavior) during each three-week period.The children, parents, and researchers did not know which diet the children were on as it changed for each three-week period. Observations of 39 behavioral and cognitive performance factors found that there were no significant differences between the three diets for the “sugar sensitive” children. Preschoolers showed slight variation among the 39 traits, but the differences did not form a pattern.
I think sugar has nothing to do with our children’s behavior. I think it is the atmosphere we put our children in has a lot to do with the way our children behave. We probable need to be more worried about tooth decay with sugar, than hyperactivity.