Does sugar cause hyperactivity in children? Are you worried about the amount of sugar your little toddler consumes? Did you know that eating sugar can lead to rowdy or aggressive behavior in kids? If you can relate to the situation, or you simply want to know how sugar can affect your baby, consider reading the post. Here, we throw light on does sugar really make kids hyper and examine some popular myths about sugar consumption.
What Is Hyperactivity In Children?
Hyperactivity or hyper is a state of having more energy than normal. Your kid will have seemingly unending stores of energy. He will be highly excitable. Some common characteristics of a hyperactive person include:
- Shorter Attention span that may lead to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Impulsive actions
- Easily distracted
- Increased movement
- Excessive movement
Does Sugar Make Kids Hyper?
Over the years, scientists conclude that there is no substantial evidence to support the claim that ‘sugar makes children hyperactive’. However, sugar is easily absorbable and enters the blood stream quickly, which leads to an increase in the blood sugar level. The increased sugar level can trigger a higher adrenaline level, leading to hyperactivity-like symptoms.
High Energy Foods And Hyperactivity:
Typically, energy-rich food like energy bars and glucose-based food, provides the body enough stamina to carry out physical activities. It’s why sportspersons follow high energy diets and often recommend high energy foods. High energy food provides muscular strength, which in turn helps the body go on for hours. But, can high energy foods trigger hyperactivity? Research says no!
Sugar And Hyperactivity In Children – The False Impression:
Does sugar cause hyperactivity in children? Well, sugar is the antagonist of the dinner table. Too much sugar can trigger all sorts of problems, like diabetes and obesity. It is one of the main culprits in our diet. However, sugar leading to hyperactivity is a misconception that prevails among many parents. Many parents believe that eating sugars like sucrose or aspartame, or extra sugar, artificial colors and flavors can lead to hyperactivity in kids.
Why Does The ‘Sugar Makes Kids Hyper’ Myth Prevail?
Normally, your child will be excited to go out with you. Birthday parties, dinners and parties at his friends’ house will have him jumping with joy. Such get-togethers sweets will most feature sugary foods, which make your kid excitable. Often, parents end up blaming the sugar for the kid’s hyperactivity. The mistaken correlation keeps the myth alive: ‘sugar triggers hyperactivity’. Such settings will overwhelm any kid, and he will be super-energetic. It has no relation to the sugary food he eats at the party.
Sugar triggering extraordinarily active behavior is a misconception that prevails and has been doing the rounds for many decades now. If you are one of the parents who think that your kid jumps and hops around the house like he’s possessed, after consuming something sugary, you’ve got another think coming.
As we mention above, no data exists to support or validate the claim that sugar leads to hyperactive behavior in kids or induces hyperactivity. If your kid does exhibit symptoms of hyperactivity, it may be due to other reasons. You need to visit a psychiatrist or your family pediatrician to understand what causes his hyperactive behavior, rather than put it down to sugar in his food or those energy bars.
Limit Your Child’s Sugar Consumption:
We now know that sugar does not lead to hyperactivity or trigger other related behaviors. However, make sure you limit your kid’s sugar intake. There is a plethora of reasons why. Here we look at some of the major ones, which include:
Toothpaste companies spend millions reinforcing the idea that sugar leads to dental problems, but unlike some other products, they are right! Sugar does indeed lead to tooth decay. It has many ill effects on your kid’s teeth, most notably cavities. When the bacteria present in the mouth come in contact with sugar, they produce acids, which in turn triggers tooth decay. If your child gorges on candies and sugary beverages, then you need to put an end to his habit.
[ Read: Tooth Abscess In Children ]
Popular belief and science say that eating sugar can make your child obese. Sugar is easily digestible, and your blood stream absorbs sugar faster than other foods. Once the sugar reaches a dangerous level, it can lead to blood sugar spikes. The blood sugar spike inhibits calorie absorption, and it adds to the fat. Thus, the kid becomes overweight in due course of time. So, all you moms out there do keep a check on your child’s plate.
Isn’t it ironic that obese children can also be malnourished? As incredible as it may sound, it’s quite true! A high sugar diet leads to obesity. As your kid piles on the calories, he is not eating healthy foods. Such a diet is not only dangerous but also lacks the necessary nutrients. As sugar-laden foods rarely offer the essential amount of vitamins and minerals, a high-sugar can lead to malnourishment and vitamin deficiencies. Sugar only offers empty calories, which increase fat and don’t contribute much to nutrition.
[ Read: Best Nutritious Foods For Kids ]
If your kid is obese and eats too much sugar, he may risk contracting diabetes. Consuming too much sugar might be the reason for his obesity. If he eats too much sugar and hates exercising or physical activity, you might want to try coaxing him to eat healthier foods and fresh fruits with natural sugar and not processed foods. Be a smart parent and cut down your child’s excess calories by limiting his sugar intake.
[ Read: Symptoms Of Diabetes In Children ]
Next time your kid runs around like a maniac after having sugar, be certain that he’s only on a sugar rush or just excited. Don’t blame the cakes and candies. They aren’t healthy, but they are not why your kid is hyperactive.
We hope the information helps. Do you suffer from a similar situation at home? How do you deal with your kid’s tantrums? How do you ensure he eats healthy food? Tell us your tips below. Fellow moms would love to hear from you. Leave a comment.
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