When you were little, your mom probably wouldn’t allow you to have overly sugary foods — and sure, it was probably partially due to cavity fears — but mom also wanted to avoid the dreaded sugar rush. The stereotype that sugar makes kids hyperactive is a persisting rumor. But research has proved that sugar highs are a myth.
"Sugar does not appear to affect behavior in children," Dr. Mark Wolraich, a pediatric doctor at the Oklahoma University Health Sciences Center, said in his research in the 1990s. All that energy can be easily explained by children getting excited by a sweet treat, not from any chemical effects.
And yet, the myth persists. Live Science just broke down the scientific reasoning behind sugar’s non-effect on children’s behavior. Research by Wolraich and other scientists in the 1990s showed that children who were given artificial sweeteners, and told they were receiving sugar, still acted hyper despite the absence of the offending substance, also known as the placebo effect.
The study was repeated again and again with the same results. Someone with low blood sugar can in fact get an energy boost from consuming sugar, but it’s temporary and will not have the same effect on someone without low blood sugar.