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Does Sugar Really Make Kids Hyper?

There is a lot of propaganda against sugar and everything sweet, owing to the many adverse effects it has on our body. While tooth decay, obesity, and diabetes are the most common risks associated with sugar consumption, medicine doesn’t have substantial proof that sugar results in hyperactivity.

In fact, the first mention of sugar and its possible connection with hyperactivity in children was mentioned in a journal called Glucose Tolerance and Hyperkinesis, 1978. This studied 265 students who displayed symptoms of hyperactivity and were diagnosed with reactive hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), which is caused by excess consumption of sugar.

In another study in 1994, researchers divided 35 boys and their moms into two groups to study the relationship between sugar and hyperactivity. The mothers in the first group were told that their children were given large amounts of sugar, while the mothers in the second group were told that their children were given a placebo. In reality, all the children were given a non-sugary placebo.

However, mothers of children who believed that their children consumed lots of sugar seemed more watchful of the children’s behavior, were more critical and reported hyperactivity. This led the researchers to believe that it is just the heightened awareness of the parents that is adding weight to the myth of sugar rush, not the sugar itself.

Even today, some researchers are trying to find that link between sugar consumption and hyperactivity, or even Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in the long-term. But none have been able to prove definitively that sugar creates a rush or makes one hyperactive.

However, sugar does affect your body. Research also suggests that long-term consumption of sugar can lead to mental health problems. Does that mean that having a lot of sugar means having drastic body changes? Let’s find out.

What Really Happens When You Consume Sugar?
The sugar consumed by the child is digested and broken down into glucose by the enzymes present in the small intestine. This glucose is then released into the blood, which transports it as energy to different parts of the body. So when you eat more sugar, there is more glucose in the body.

Glucose levels in the body are monitored by the pancreatic beta cells. When your body gets more sugar than needed, the liver stores it as fat for later use, when the blood sugar levels are low. When the body does not get food, this excess sugar is used to supply energy to certain parts of the body that need glucose. Other parts of the body are supplied with ketones, which are alternative fuels that the liver produces.

That means everything should be consumed in moderation, but what happens if you can’t move away from sugar?

Managing Your Child’s Sugar Intake
Whether or not sugar is addictive, too much of it can be bad for your child’s health. Excessive sugar consumption over long periods can increase the risk of obesity, diabetes, and even heart disease, according to a study. So there is a need to limit your child’s sugar intake early on and restrict the daily intake to the recommended quantity.

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