Our Sweet Blog

  • Sugar and Behavior in Kids

    Photo credit: Henry M. Diaz on Flickr

    I love sugar as much as the next gal, but as a Mom, I often wonder about it's reputation among parents. It seems that the second kids get rowdy at a birthday party, inevitably one of the parents will make a joke about "the sugar kicking in."

    However, did you know that more than a dozen studies have shown that when you give kids high doses of sugar (vs. a sugar substitute), there's no difference in their behavior? Parents magazine reports that this parenting myth (Giving kids sugar makes them hyper) was believed by 11% of M.D.s and that 5% weren't sure. Which means that 84% of M.D.s do not believe that giving children sugar makes them hyper. A fact that is backed up by many, many studies.

    Instead, it's more likely to be situational. That is, the kids get hyped up...because they are at a birthday party. There is also popular perception to fight against. According to the article, "In one student, parents who were told their kids had been given a sugary beverage (when, in fact, they hadn't) were more apt to report misbehavior."

    While this doesn't make sugar a healthful option in large quantities, it does mean that a bit of sugar every now and again shouldn't send Junior into a frenzy...unless he's somewhere he'd go into a frenzy anyways. Whew!

    Source: Parents magazine, October 2010, "9 Kid Health Myths Even Doctors Believe"

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