It is common to hear that sugar affects children’s behavior, making them more naughty, more active, and inadvertently going to bed. But what does the science say? Does sugar increase the risk of hyperactivity?
We are not going to defend added sugar, because it has negative effects on either children or adults. In infants not only favors cavities, obesity, and a deficit of nutrients, but also a increased risk of cardiovascular disease according to the American Heart Association.
Referring to hyperactivity far, most studies have not found a connection between sugar and fussy behavior in children.
A meta-analysis that reviewed the findings of 23 experiments in 16 scientific articles concluded that according to the studies analyzed, the sugar (mainly sucrose) does not affect the behavior or cognitive performance of children.
The studies compared the effects of sugar with those of a placebo (no active ingredient) and the children and the parents involved did not know who had received the sugar and who had received the placebo.
“Even when intake exceeds typical dietary levels, not even saccharose neither him aspartame of diet affects the behavior or cognitive function of children ”, concluded another study published in The New England Journal of Medicine where included Also to children whose parents considered sensitive to sugar.
Sugar doesn’t interfere with sleep either
An investigation that studied the relationship between sleep and behavior with a sample of 287 children, concluded that even when children consumed a higher amount of sugar than recommended it was not related to behavior or sleep problems, as published in the International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition.
A matter of expectations
Some parents already anticipate that their children will become more active after consuming a sugary treat, food, or drink. As an experimental study shows, where mothers were told that their children had received a large dose of sugar (they had actually received a placebo). They recorded them as they interacted and then they rated their children as more hyperactive. In the video, they exercised more control by being closer, in addition to showing tendencies to criticize, look at, and talk with their children.
While there is a lack of connection between sugar and hyperactivity. Some children may have this behavior for other reasons and need the attention of a medical professional.
Reducing the intake of sugar in children is still a good measure, this seeks their current health and in the future. The children 2 to 18 years old should consume less than 25 grams or 6 teaspoons of added sugar per day for a healthy heart according to the AHA.