Deakin Communicating Science 2016

EES 200/101

Sugar makes kids hyper

The other day I was sitting on the train listening to three mothers have a conversation about their children. The topic of their conversation was sugar. One of the mothers turned to the others and  said ‘I don’t let my boys have too much sugar, especially during the evening. I find that they are bouncing off the walls otherwise and I can never get them to go to bed on time’. Another mother replies ‘my kids are not allowed any sugar at all, unless it’s a special occasion. Sugar makes kids hyper it’s a known fact’. As I continued to eavesdrop on their conversation I realised that they all seemed to agree on one thing; that sugar makes kids hyper. I quickly remembered that many parents even my own believe that sugar causes kids to become hyperactive. I was intrigued and I couldn’t help but google this to see whether this is actually a scientifically known fact or whether parents are just assuming this. So I typed it into google. Does sugar make kids hyper?

‘Through various experiments over the years, scientists have discovered that no substantial evidence exists to support the claim that sugar causes hyperactivity’ (Nancy Huynh, 2010). This is what I read in the first article I came across on google. So I decided to read on to see whether this was true. As I kept reading going from article to article, the main point seemed to be that sugar has not been found to cause children to become hyper. So why do so many parents believe it does?
I think it’s a psychological issue which parents have. Certain studies have shown that the parents who believe sugar makes kids hyper actually see a link between the two, even though there isn’t one. Parents expect their children to behave badly when they have consumed sugary foods and so they are primed to notice it if it does happen. A prime example of this is at birthday parties where sugar is usually served. Have you ever been to a kids birthday party where all the kids are so hyperactive? Well I have been to plenty of kids parties and the first thing that parents blame is sugar. Have you ever thought that maybe the reason that all the kids are so hyper is because they are simply excited? Parents are so quickly to blame sugary foods for their hyper kid when really the environment is probably more to blame.

So a word of advice to all parents; don’t believe the myth. Sugar does not cause kids to be hyper. I’m not saying that sugar is great and that you should let your children gorge themselves on sweets. When sweets are eaten in excess they’re are plenty of health effects linked to them like obesity and diabetes. Diabetes especially is beginning to become a huge issue in our world today. However, don’t deprive your children of such sugary goodness. When eaten in moderation sugar is a nice little treat for your children. Especially chocolate; it’s just too good to not eat.

  • N.p., 2016. Web. 5 May 2016.
  • N.p., 2016. Web. 5 May 2016.
  • N.p., 2016. Web. 5 May 2016.
  • “Does Sugar Really Make Children Hyper?”. Yale Scientific Magazine. N.p., 2016. Web. 5 May 2016.
  • “Slideshow: 10 Health Myths Debunked”. WebMD. N.p., 2016. Web. 5 May 2016.

3 comments on “Sugar makes kids hyper

  1. jwello
    May 8, 2016

    Hi Andrea,

    Really interesting topic! I really enjoyed the conversational tone of your post and how you included your own personal experiences in to create a more personable and relatable feeling. However I do feel as thought there is a slight lack of scientfic evidence and data to support your claims. You did mention one statement from a source, ‘Through various experiments over the years, scientists have discovered that no substantial evidence exists to support the claim that sugar causes hyperactivity’ however there was no further explanation of any of these experiments. I believe that your claims would have been more convincing if there was greater use of visually displayed data, possibly the correlation between sugar intake and levels of hyperactivity.

    Overall a very enjoyable post!


  2. jackson3732
    May 8, 2016

    interesting blog, personally I didn’t realise that it was even debatable that sugar makes kids hyper active, so at first I was a bit dubious when reading this. However after doing exaclty what you did and giving it a bit of a check myself I found a few places suggesting that it does make them a bit hyper but as a general consensus they said it didn’t. Although it is quite strange that it isn’t true as it’s known that sugar burns off a lot quicker than slower releasing energies such as fats or proteins so it would make sense if it did make kids a bit more energetic. nonetheless an interesting read.


  3. Jessica Liew
    May 9, 2016

    I agreed to @jackson3732, as children are known to have more energy than adults, they are always hyper when they get excited regardless of getting any sweets or not. I feel this is a bit misconception for the parents to always blame the sugary food that causes the hyperactivity of their children. According to the study cited in WebMD, they did a double blind experiment with the results saying that sugar does not have any relation to hyperactivity of a child. (
    Thanks for the post.


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This entry was posted on May 8, 2016 by in Burwood - Wednesday 11am.

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