healtheo360 Wellness Blog

Dispelling the Myth of the "Sugar-High"

Posted on Apr 24, 2013, 11:33:07 AM by healtheo360

This may rock the world of parents raising excessively excitable, candy-loving kids everywhere: Hyperactive sugar highs simply do not exist.

We have all witnessed children go berserk after eating sugary snack and rapidly crashing into tantrum mode, it is not the sugar itself that is causing this behavior.

The sudden (and short-lived) energy burst that many children present after stuffing themselves with ice cream, cookies, and candy is not a chemical response to sugar, as we often like to think.

This hyper behavior is actually psychological in nature. The behavior can actually be attributed to the excitement that is commonly associated with events associated with the treats and the act of receiving a “treat” in itself.

Dr. Katherine Gray-Donald, professor of dietetics and nutrition at McGill University and president of the Canadian Nutrition Society, states that a parent’s perception of “sugar-highs” just don’t bear out when you study them in very controlled settings.”

To determine whether or not sugar objectively causes hyperactive behavior, a double blind study where two groups of children were fed sugar and artificial sweetener respectively was conducted. In this study, both the children studied and the research assistants would be unaware of which group they belonged to.

Back in 1995, twenty-three of these studies were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. These studies had been administered from 1982 through 1994, and not one study found a link between the consumption of sugar and erratic behavior.

Even similar research on adults, conducted in 1997, demonstrated the same lack or causation or correlation.

Despite all of this, sugar is far from harmless. High consumption of sugar and/or high fructose con syrup should still be avoided whenever possible to avoid obesity, increased blood pressure and prevent diabetes.  Behavior itself, however, is in no way linked to sugar intake.
This may rock the world of parents raising excessively excitable, candy-loving kids everywhere: Hyperactive sugar highs simply do not exist.

We have all witnessed children go berserk after eating sugary snack and rapidly crashing into tantrum mode, it is not the sugar itself that is causing this behavior.

The sudden (and short-lived) energy burst that many children present after stuffing themselves with ice cream, cookies, and candy is not a chemical response to sugar, as we often like to think.

This hyper behavior is actually psychological in nature. The behavior can actually be attributed to the excitement that is commonly associated with events associated with the treats and the act of receiving a “treat” in itself.

Dr. Katherine Gray-Donald, professor of dietetics and nutrition at McGill University and president of the Canadian Nutrition Society, states that a parent’s perception of “sugar-highs” just don’t bear out when you study them in very controlled settings.”

To determine whether or not sugar objectively causes hyperactive behavior, a double blind study where two groups of children were fed sugar and artificial sweetener respectively was conducted. In this study, both the children studied and the research assistants would be unaware of which group they belonged to.

Back in 1995, twenty-three of these studies were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. These studies had been administered from 1982 through 1994, and not one study found a link between the consumption of sugar and erratic behavior.

Even similar research on adults, conducted in 1997, demonstrated the same lack or causation or correlation.

Despite all of this, sugar is far from harmless. High consumption of sugar and/or high fructose con syrup should be avoided to prevent obesity, increased blood pressure and prevent diabetes. Behavior itself, however, is in no way linked to sugar intake.

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