Have you ever watched your child run from door to door on Halloween, sneaking a few pieces of candy here and there, and been convinced they’re experiencing a “sugar high?” Lots of parents are sure their kids are, when they’ve had lots of sweet treats and are being loud and acting … like kids. But just because many moms and dads blame their kids’ behavior on the sugar doesn’t mean it’s true. And it turns out, there’s no scientific evidence that eating sugar, even lots of it, affects children’s behavior.
“This myth is really persistent,” says pediatrician Dr. Janine Zee-Cheng. There has been some research suggesting a link between kids’ behavior and sugar, like a 1995 study that showed kids’ adrenaline levels increased more than adults’ did after eating sugar, but other studies haven’t gotten the same findings. In fact, Zee-Cheng estimates that “10 to 15 other studies have debunked” the idea of a sugar high.
So why do kids run around with over-the-top behavior on occasions like Halloween, if it’s not a sugar high? Chalk it up to pure kid excitement. Zee-Cheng says the “caveat” to kids not having an actual sugar high is the very real possibility that they’re experiencing a dopamine rush because of the thrill of trick-or-treating and being allowed to eat their candy haul. The pediatrician recommends moderation overall in kids’ sugar intake, but maybe not so much on Halloween. “You don’t need to be eating a bowl full of M&M’s every day,” Zee-Cheng says. “But there are times for exceptions.”
Source: Huff Post