Subscribe to our Newsletter:
Healthy Diet Plans >>  Articles >>  Diet and Wellness

Does Sugar Cause Hyperactivity In Kids?

Submitted by Sharon Hopkins on September 25, 2012

Hyperactivity can be described as a physical state in which a person experiences increased movement, a boost of energy and higher impulsiveness. Some of the other signs and symptoms of hyperactivity include easy distraction, the inability to concentrate, excess motor activity, disruptive behavior and aggressiveness. While anyone can become hyperactive for various reasons, this state is more common in children than it is in adults. Some people experience bouts of hyperactivity on certain occasions, whereas in others it could be a regular or an ongoing occurrence. There are several different factors that could cause a person to become hyperactive.

This state has also been linked to a diet that contains high amounts of sugar.

In 1973, Benjamin Feingold, an allergist, suggested that sugar, food additives and artificial color triggered off hyperactivity in a child or worsened it. Several parents also claim that their children, who are otherwise quite normal, become hyperactive after the consumption of various foods, especially sweets and sugary items.

This is one of the reasons they limit their kids’ intake of sugary foods like chocolates, candies, pies, pastries and cookies, especially in the evening. They believe that their kids have trouble relaxing or going to bed because of the sugar they consumed.

However, the correlation between sugar and hyperactivity in kids is still a controversial topic.

There is no scientific evidence to prove that there is any link between excess sugar consumption and hyperactive kids. According to a study published in the 1996 issue of Critical Reviews in Food Science & Nutrition there is no correlation between sugar and hyperactivity in kids (with or without Attention Deficiency Hyperactivity Disorder)

There is some connection between sugar intake and energy levels in all people though. Sugar can increase your child’s activity levels, as it enters the bloodstream quickly and creates a significant rise in the blood sugar levels.

Your child’s body then responds to the boost in blood sugar by sending out adrenaline, which promotes activity. Therefore, health experts generally suggest a low sugar diet for hyperactive children. However, refined sugar is not the only food that can increase your child’s activity levels significantly; any food that contains simple or “fast” carbohydrates could have a similar effect on your child’s activity levels. Therefore limiting sweets and other sugary items from your child’s diet alone may not control hyperactivity.

While sugar and sweets may not cause your child to become overly energetic, do remember that they are the leading causes of tooth decay and obesity. It is therefore best to limit the amount of processed sugar your child eats, to the minimum.

Read more articles from the Diet and Wellness Category.