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.
Yes, that’s right. “Sugar does not appear to affect behavior in children,” said Dr. Mark Wolraich, chief of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at Oklahoma University Health Sciences Center, who researched sugar’s effect on children in the 1990s.
Instead, parent’s expectations of so-called “sugar highs” appear to color the way they view their children’s behavior, Wolraich said. It’s easy to see why parents make the link: Sugar is often the main attraction at birthday parties, on Halloween and other occasions when children are likely to bounce off the walls. But all that energy is due to kids being excited, not from the sugar in their systems, he said. [Is Sugar Bad for You?]