Author Topic: Sugar making kids hyperactive  (Read 917 times)

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Offline algeraist

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Sugar making kids hyperactive
« on: April 10, 2017, 06:00:28 AM »
New guy here, can someone point me to the facts on the above.

I've searched the interwebs and can't find a clear answer but I heard this is a myth so love to see the facts

cheers

Offline algeraist

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Re: Sugar making kids hyperactive
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2017, 06:12:25 AM »
also should mention I've got $50 on that it's bullshit so I'll donate that if I win but I need credible sources.

Offline Noisy Rhysling

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Re: Sugar making kids hyperactive
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2017, 06:19:10 AM »
Heard in passing that it was a fallacy but I haven't read anything. My GF's son was stuck with that "diagnosis" back in the '80s. He wasn't happy about it and his behaviour didn't change. (I used to take him to the ice cream stand when his mom wasn't looking.)
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Offline Andrew Clunn

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Re: Sugar making kids hyperactive
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2017, 07:06:42 AM »
"Hyperactive..."  Is this a clinical term, or just some clinical sounding excuse that lousy parents use to justify punishing / drugging their kids?
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Offline Caffiene

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Re: Sugar making kids hyperactive
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2017, 07:29:47 AM »
"Hyperactive..."  Is this a clinical term, or just some clinical sounding excuse that lousy parents use to justify punishing / drugging their kids?

I believe there are some studies that look specifically at ADHD and similar diagnoses, so that would be one part of "hyperactive". But even apart from controversy regarding over-diagnosis of ADHD in children, Id say that a long term medical diagnosis of ADHD isnt necessarily what most people are talking about when they say "sugar makes their child hyperactive". Theyre talking about a specific short term causative effect.

Plus, which "sugar" are we talking about? Glucose, sucrose, fructose? What about lactose in milk?


My understanding is that there are studies of varying quality that come down on both sides of the issue, but that there are a number that investigate and demonstrate a significant amount of placebo effect / observer bias is involved - eg, a study where both groups of supposedly sugar-sensitive children were given a placebo had the parents of one group told they had been given sugar and those parents reported their children as significantly more "hyperactive".

Theres also some studies and reviews that question, if there is a correlation with long term diagnoses like ADHD, whether the cause and effect might be reversed - that some ADHD sufferers are known to self-medicate in observable ways such as drugs and that behavioural over-eating could be another coping mechanism in the same sort of manner, with high-sugar foods being one of those foods. Higher incidence of sugar-rich foods in their diets would then be a result of the hyperactivity, not a cause of it.
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Offline Andrew Clunn

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Re: Sugar making kids hyperactive
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2017, 07:31:52 AM »
The placebo effect...  They gave half the kids a sugar pill and the other half a... OMG!
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Online daniel1948

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Re: Sugar making kids hyperactive
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2017, 09:30:19 AM »
All kids are hyperactive. All kids will eat sweets when available. Thus all hyperactive kids eat sugar. Take away the sugar, they'll still be hyperactive, but they'll be unhappy they don't get the sweets.

But I don't have links to studies. I think the SGU has addressed the question. You might want to try searching the Science-Based Medicine Blog.
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Offline Johnny Slick

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Re: Sugar making kids hyperactive
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2017, 10:28:47 AM »
All kids are not hyperactive though. Most kids are "active". The whole entire point of the word "hyperactive" is that it implies more activity than normal. That being said, sugar itself is if anything a bit of a depressant: when you take too much of it, you get sleepy.

That being said, it looks like there might actually be some cause for the link:

http://www.yalescientific.org/2010/09/mythbusters-does-sugar-really-make-children-hyper/

Quote
Nonetheless, other experiments show that sugar may at least influence behavior. Dr. Wesnes conducted a study in which he found that having a large amount of sugar for breakfast led to a severe deterioration of attention span when compared to having no breakfast or eating whole grain cereal. Dr. Tamborlane, also from Yale, reported that children given sugar had higher levels of adrenaline. A possible explanation for this effect is that since sugar is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, blood sugar rises quickly, which can lead to higher adrenaline levels and thus symptoms similar to those associated with hyperactivity. Furthermore, children with ADHD also tend to have higher levels of insulin.
The article does go on to explain that any effects from the sugar would be short-lived and that the NIH has been saying that there is no definitive link for 35 years now. Still, this makes some sense though... even if the link is fleeting and short-lived, if you're a parent and you give your kids a bunch of sugar on their birthday or whatever, aren't you likely to notice it when your kid almost immediately gets loopy, even though they come down from it very quickly? The effect does not have to be large and long-lasting to be noticeable.

(FWIW I actually *am* hyperactive, as in I have the mental condition known as ADHD, and when I was a kid I had to go through eye therapy every Saturday to correct a lazy eye (I think that's what it was; I was kind of young at the time). I was reeeeeeeeeally rambunctious and my parents, in typical early 80s fashion, blamed the hyperactivity on the family's Saturday morning ritual of getting donuts for breakfast. So I didn't get any donuts until after the appointment for a while. I'm pretty sure it didn't help.)
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Offline CarbShark

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Re: Sugar making kids hyperactive
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2017, 10:37:25 AM »
Everyone got a donut but little Johnny Slick. ???


Your mileage may vary.
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Offline Noisy Rhysling

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Re: Sugar making kids hyperactive
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2017, 10:54:46 AM »
Hey, sugar contains glutens, or something. Case closed!
"Sunday's horoscope is note worthy because of its strange, sudden and wholly unpredictable and inexplicable occurrences, affecting all phases of life." Your Horoscope" L.A. Evening Herald Express, Sat, 12/06/41

Offline CarbShark

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Re: Sugar making kids hyperactive
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2017, 11:31:57 AM »
Hey, sugar contains glutens, or something. Case closed!

That's incorrect. Sugar is glucose and fructose. They are metabolized differently by the body.

The theory is that a large dose of sugar spikes blood glucose and that leads to acute hyperactivity as the body tries to burn off the excess fuel. The effect is said to be more noticeable in children. A secondary effect is that the blood sugar spike causes an insulin spike which has the effect of gradually lowering blood sugar to levels below baseline, which causes low energy.

I haven't seen a study that clearly proves or disproves the hypothesis




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Online daniel1948

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Re: Sugar making kids hyperactive
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2017, 01:44:21 PM »
All kids are not hyperactive though. ...

I was speaking colloquially.  ;)
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Online The Latinist

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Re: Sugar making kids hyperactive
« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2017, 02:22:42 PM »
Hey, sugar contains glutens, or something. Case closed!

That's incorrect. Sugar is glucose and fructose. They are metabolized differently by the body.

Um...wow.
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Online The Latinist

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Re: Sugar making kids hyperactive
« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2017, 02:36:41 PM »
"Hyperactive..."  Is this a clinical term, or just some clinical sounding excuse that lousy parents use to justify punishing / drugging their kids?

Hyperactivity is, in fact, a clinical term.  It's pretty established science that some children have poorly-developed impulse control for their age.  We can diagnose it clinically, but there have also been recent brain studies showing structural and functional differences between hyperactive and normally active children. When children's hyperactivity impedes their academic and social growth, it can have devastating long-term effects on them, in which case it is diagnosed as hyperactivity disorder.  For some children in this group, medication can enable them to control their impulsiveness and enable them to find academic and social success.  I have seen students whose lives were turned around almost overnight by such medication.  These were students who had a desire to learn and to behave, but were impeded by their neurology from reaching their potential.  It has nothing to do with character or parenting, and everything to do with brain development.

That said, I think that hyperactivity and attention deficit are probably overdiagnosed and stimulant medications are probably overprescribed. Some children diagnosed with hyperactivity could probably benefit from non-medical interventions. That doesn't mean that the disorder isn't real or is a fabricated excuse for lazy parenting.  It just means that, as with antibiotics, doctors feel a tremendous amount of pressure to do something when presented with parents and children who are suffering.
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Offline Noisy Rhysling

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Re: Sugar making kids hyperactive
« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2017, 02:37:22 PM »
Hey, sugar contains glutens, or something. Case closed!

That's incorrect. Sugar is glucose and fructose. They are metabolized differently by the body.

The theory is that a large dose of sugar spikes blood glucose and that leads to acute hyperactivity as the body tries to burn off the excess fuel. The effect is said to be more noticeable in children. A secondary effect is that the blood sugar spike causes an insulin spike which has the effect of gradually lowering blood sugar to levels below baseline, which causes low energy.

I haven't seen a study that clearly proves or disproves the hypothesis




Your mileage may vary.
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"Sunday's horoscope is note worthy because of its strange, sudden and wholly unpredictable and inexplicable occurrences, affecting all phases of life." Your Horoscope" L.A. Evening Herald Express, Sat, 12/06/41