Dug Campbell

Sugar and the Mythical Hyper Kids

Shocking discovery of the day: finding out that the well-known parenting fact that if you give kids lots of sugar, they become hyperactive turns out to be….well, a myth.

OK, so if you’re reading this and you don’t have kids – or you’ve not spent any time around young kids since you were of a similar vintage –  it’s maybe not quite as surprising to you.  But it appears that ingesting the industrial amounts of sugar doesn’t actually make your descendants go bananas after all

It turns out that it’s a myth that is endorsed by 59 per cent of the public, 50 per cent of teachers and 39 per cent of those with some form of neuroscience training. In other words, even those with specialised education get it wrong…But the real interest for all the parents out there is probably this quote:-

“Some researchers suggest that simply expecting sugar to affect your child can influence how you interpret what you see. A study published in the August 1994 Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology showed that parents who believe a child’s behaviour is affected by sugar are more likely to perceive their children as hyperactive when they’ve been led to believe the child has just had a sugary drink.”

Something to consider the next time you leap to a conclusion about your child’s (or anyone else’s) actions without being aware of the full context.