If you’re desperately trying to steer your child away from sweet treats and have been using the inevitable sugar crash that comes with it as an excuse, you’re in for a rude awakening. Because it turns out the problem isn’t so much sugar as it is overly imaginative parents.
Sharing her findings on Live Science earlier this week, Laura Greggel explained, “If a child eats cotton candy, a chocolate bar or any other kind of sugary treat, will a hyperactive frenzy follow? While some parents may swear that the answer is “yes,” research shows that it’s just not true.”
Speaking to Dr. Mark Wolraich, the chief of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at Oklahoma University Health Sciences Centre, it was pointed out that even from as far back as the early 1990s, there has been no evidence to suggest sugar dramatically effects the immediate behaviour of children.
Go for seconds, little one. Source: iStock.
Instead, Wolraich says, parents have almost been programmed to expect to see a sugar high after a sweets binge has occurred, and because of that overanalyse a child's behaviour.
The energy bursts, he continues, usually come at times when children would be highly stimulated anyway, like at birthday parties or during Halloween. And by seeing their child behave hyperactively in these environments, parents' "ideas are reinforced by seeing it in those circumstances," Wolraich continued.
Go shorty, it's your birthday. Source: iStock.
Because while there are exceptions to the rule, generally, increased levels of blood sugar levels simply do no translate into hyperactive behaviour. "The body will normally regulate those sugars," Wolraich explains. "If it needs it, it will use the energy. If it doesn't need it, it will convert it to fat for storage."
Backing up the placebo via parents theory was a study that Wolraich and his colleagues conducted back in the 90s.