Sugar and Hyperactivity
Does sugar make kids hyperactive?
Do you dread children’s parties because of the effect all those sugary snacks will have on your child? Does sugar turn your little angel into a little monster?
Are you sure it’s the sugar?
We decided to find out. Enter Becky and Niall. Two five year olds whose occasional out-of-control behaviour their parents’ attribute to sugar. Add two parties, one with sugary snacks and the other sugar-free, and mix well.
Day one, the underwater themed storytelling party. To make sure the experiment was impartial we told Becky’s mum Patricia, and Niall’s dad Michael, that we would be feeding their children a sugar-free lunch. Then we swapped the healthy snacks for the sugary ones.
When it was time for Becky and Niall to go home both parent’s were unsurprised at how calm they were since they believed that the children had consumed a healthy sugar-free lunch.
Day two, the crazy, boisterous, food throwing party. This time we told Becky’s and Nialls’ parents that we would be feeding them a lot of sugar and they prepared for the worst.
"they had both eaten the equivalent of 47.5 cubes of sugar"
The dreaded time arrived and we filmed Niall and Becky on the journey home. Both their behaviour was markedly different to what their parents had witnessed the day before and Patricia and Michael were certain the sugar had some influence.
On revealing our double-bluff Patricia and Michael were astounded by the outcome, especially when we told them that on day one, when the children were calmer, they had both eaten the equivalent of 47.5 cubes of sugar.
The theory that too much sugar makes children hyperactive doesn’t stand up to the tests - it may be that the environment your child is in is the defining factor in how boisterous their mood is. This doesn’t mean sugar get’s off lightly though. It may not lead to hyperactivity but it does make your blood sugar drop which could make your children irritable and distracted.
Take a look at our Takeaway Tips on how to feed your kids.
Did You Know..?
- A 49g bar of Dairy Milk contains 5.5 teaspoons of sugar
- 100ml of Coke contains 2.12 teaspoons of sugar
- A standard 330ml can of Coke contains 7 teaspoons of sugar
FSA- press office: www.food.gov.uk