It’s not the sugar that makes your kids hyper. It’s you thinking it does.

I came across an article that debunks commonly accepted “facts” and I thought for weeks about all the facts that seem to be untrue in my life and home raising two kids.

Below is an except from a new study debunking commonly held myths, including the connection between hyperactivity and sugar.

“I have three kids… I was sure that sugar made kids hyperactive,” says Carroll, director of Indiana University’s centre for health policy and professionalism research.

“It just seemed like common sense…. So that was shocking to me and I still think that most of my friends probably don’t believe me.”

In addition to being pediatricians and pediatrics professors in the university’s school of medicine, the pair teach medical students how to critically assess scientific literature. And it was that work that inspired this project.

“There are a lot of things that we take for granted that if we actually think about critically and look into, it turns out we’re not quite correct,” Carroll says.

So they mined the scientific literature, looking for proof for or against their list of medical truths.

First up was sugar and kids. Everybody believes this one is true, despite the fact that there are reams of randomized controlled trials – OK, at least 12 – that show sugar consumption doesn’t make children behave differently, says Vreeman.

In fact, kids’ sugar consumption seems to have a bigger impact on parents than on their kids. At least one study has shown that parents who think their kids have eaten sweets rate their behaviour as more hyperactive, whether the kids actually ate sugar or not.

To me, this is akin to  think it and it will be. Last week I did my best to push doubt from my mind and started to chant out behaviour that I want to see manifested in Naya (who’s three). For instance, I’d chant “Naya is listening”, “Naya is obedient”, “Naya feels sleepy even though it’s only 6 pm”….

The result of my application of this theory? It’s crap. When Naya eats too much sugar she is a pain in the a–. When she goes out under dressed, she has a cold the next day. When we visit friends who are sick, invariably we are sick the very next day. It seems germ incubation times are much shorter at our house.


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