Latimer: ttributing sugar intake to bad behaviour

There are widely held beliefs about sugar and its effect on the hyperactivity and behaviour of children.

With Halloween fast approaching and the grocery stores lining their aisles with super-sized boxes of candy, I thought this might be a good season to address a widely held belief about sugar and its effect on the hyperactivity and behaviour of children.

No doubt, we have all heard the very popular notion that sugar causes kids to be ‘buzzed,’ ‘high’ or simply hyper.

Maybe it will surprise you to learn that this is actually not true. Even though everyone says it, studies have shown conclusively that there is no causal relationship between consumption of sugar and hyperactive

behaviour in children.

It’s not news really—in the scientific literature it has been well published for more than a decade that there is no relational link between ingesting sugary treats and negative or hyper behaviour.

A 2009 review of 12 double-blind, placebo-controlled studies of sugar challenges failed to provide any evidence of the causal relationship between sugar and behaviour in children both with and without pre-existing ADD/ADHD.

Other studies examined diet-oriented treatment on children with behaviour problems and also found that this treatment does not appear to be appropriate and that eliminating sugar did not improve behaviour.

You might be thinking that you know your child is more hyper after all the treats at Halloween or at the end of a cake and pop-filled birthday party.

It is more likely that the hyper or wired behaviour after such experiences is due to the excitement of the event itself rather than the food consumed as part of it.

To be sure, there are some good reasons to limit sugar intake in our children.

Our current obesity epidemic is probably the most pressing one.

It is important to encourage a healthy, active lifestyle, balanced diet and to avoid regular consumption of large quantities of junk food. Of course it is best to fill our bodies with healthy food.

That being said, allowing your children to enjoy some treats from time to time at parties and holidays is not going to cause them to develop attention deficit disorder and will not in itself cause them to behave badly.

Kids who are over-stimulated from an exciting activity, tired from staying up late or wound up from being surrounded by other excited children may exhibit some situational hyperactivity and may take a while to calm down afterward—just like adults.

Moderation is a good standard to go by when it comes to treats and it teaches children they can live a healthy life making good choices every day and enjoying occasional treats and desserts without developing unhealthy relationships to foods—either of denial or excess.

Just Posted

‘Listen to you gut’ urges injured skier

Mike Shaw was told he’d never walk again after an accident four years ago, but he defied the odds

Small grass fire sparks in West Kelowna

Fire crews quickly douse blaze in ditch on Friday afternoon

Kelowna teen allegedly robbed while walking at night

Community asked for tips to help reunite teen with ring

Nasty note on windshield sparks online outrage

Vernon’s Bailey McDonald is using a painful experience to start conversation about invisible illness

Remembering road crash victims in Kelowna

World Day of Remembrance for Road Crash Victims takes place Sunday in Kelowna

Families of missing Shuswap women call for action

Birthday of missing woman Ashley Simpson remembered during rally in Yankee Flats

Guns and drugs seized in Kamloops RCMP blitz

Kamloops Mounties and the gang unit seize drugs and make arrests in two-day blitz

Hammy dodges conservation officers

The famous Prince Rupert hammock deer maintains his purple threads

‘No shirt, no service, no Canada’

Shirtless Tacoma man arrested after Canadian border officials say they found meth in rental vehicle

Interior Health expands meningococcal precautions in South Okanagan

Oliver, Osoyoos and Okanagan Falls included in the expanded precautionary immunization measure

Homeless count returns amid Penticton’s housing crisis

Volunteers are hitting the streets this week to find solid data on Penticton’s homeless population

Missing woman smart, courageous, lovable

Mother says Caitlin Potts trying to overcome foster care experience

Federal funding to combat guns, gangs and opioid crisis

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said illicit drugs are often main cause of guns, gangs violence

Riverview youth mental health centre proceeds

Replacement for Maples Treatment Centre first announced in March

Most Read