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Giving kids sugar makes them hyper. Myth or Fact?

Okay I get the Parents magazine in the mail. I have been reading thru the articles for the past couple of days - when I get the chance.

This article is about totally outdated myths.
Myth - Giving kids sugar makes them hyper.
11% of M.D's believed it - 5% weren't sure
It says FACT:
More than a dozen studies have shown that when you give kids high substitute, there's no difference in their behavior. Still, parents have a hard time believing this one - probably because we've all seen what happens to kids after eating cake and ice cream at birthday parties. But it's more likely that the party itself, not the treats, has your kid bouncing off the wall, says Dr. Adesman. It's also a matter of perception: In one study, parents who were told their kids had been given a sugary beverage (when in fact they hadn't) were more apt to report misbehavior.

What do you think?


Asked by ajc88 at 11:38 PM on Sep. 26, 2010 in General Parenting

Level 19 (7,331 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (11)
  • My little sister (10) used sugar as the focus of her science fair project and won. Her idea was to put her friends through a series of tests (for example doing jumping jacks for physical, playing bop it for mental) and then have them each drink a soda and try the same tasks again. Her findings were very interesting as she noted that not only were the kid's reflexes slower at the bop it game but that they seemed to get frustrated easier as well.
    I am not sure sugar makes a kid hyper every time, but there is no doubt that when I personally eat sugar, I am less focused and more on edge. I have noticed the same with my son.
    I would never give my son sugar cereal for breakfast and expect him to be 100% at school. He rarely gets sugar and when he does, it is always obvious.

    Answer by jenellemarie at 12:21 AM on Sep. 27, 2010

  • It may not be a fact that it makes them hyper but it IS a fact that giving it to them, at least too much of it really isnt good for them and it disrupts their sleeping.

    Answer by LogansMama09 at 11:42 PM on Sep. 26, 2010

  • I have a hard time believing it's a myth, just from personal experience. My kids rarely have sugar other than diluted juice, so when they have some there is at least 20-30 minute period in which they are CRAZY. They're also a lot more irritable. Even if it's not in a party setting or anything like that, I see a big difference in their behavior. Maybe they're just excited about the treat, I don't know, but they really get crazy and cranky for a little while!

    Answer by aliceryannesmom at 11:41 PM on Sep. 26, 2010

  • My kids don't eat refined sugar very often, and they don't act hyper when they do get some. I agree that its more likely stimulation from something else that's causing the excitement.

    Answer by Ginger0104 at 11:51 PM on Sep. 26, 2010

  • Every study can be skewed to suggest a certain result for whatever reasons. Always stick to moderation. Kids expend most of their energy in the morning and early afternoon, so if they will get a rationed bolus of sugar, that'd be the time. Keep the kids busy, run them ragged by the end of the day, they will sleep well, and you'll see less erratic behaviour (as long as you already model appropriate behaviour in your homestead).

    Answer by Angelwolf130 at 12:01 AM on Sep. 27, 2010

  • i think to much of it just enhances the hyperness in some kids..more than others..

    Answer by FreeSpriT4eva at 12:07 AM on Sep. 27, 2010

  • I've heard it was a myth- I believe it
    my kids were obnoxious with or without sugar ;)

    Answer by charlotsomtimes at 12:11 AM on Sep. 27, 2010

  • fact I have experienced it. There was a day when my 2 year old had gummies for breakfast (I blame my MIL) He was hyper, then tired and cranky! studies or science be damned, I have seen a 2 year olds sugar high!

    Answer by DoveMomma at 2:29 AM on Sep. 27, 2010

  • If someone came to my house and saw my son 20 minutes after having a cupcake with frosting they would not call this a myth ANYMORE. some people cannot tolerate certain types of sugar or ingredients. PERIOD.

    Answer by BlacksheepSati at 8:02 AM on Sep. 27, 2010

  • My personal experience and based on the doctors I have worked with (we specialized in working with kids with behavior issues).....yes and no. Sugar can give you a temporary boost. But while you get an energy boost you also crash very hard. Generally the rule was about thirty minutes after eating candy or cookies you get that sugar high or energy boost. It last for about thirty minutes as well. If your child ate candy at a school party but was still wired by the time they got home and ready for bed - not a sugar high. Lots of parents I worked with would blame behavior at home on candy or junk they may have had at school. Well, nice theory but unlikely. Sugar can make some issues worse but generally is not going to cause a child to go wild. Now if a child has a sensitivity to dies and certain types of foods...then that is possible.


    Answer by frogdawg at 8:39 AM on Sep. 27, 2010