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.