Sugar not to blame for kids behaving badly

Sugar not to blame for kids behaving badly
A new review of studies investigating the role of sucrose in children's behavior has concluded that it is not the root cause of behavioral problems such as ADHD or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, ADHD is a common complain particularly prevalent in school children.

The higher the consumption of soft drinks, the more extreme symptoms of hyperactivity were observed.

This is particularly a risk when the possibility that diet affects the behavior of children is discussed, in much of the population, the consumption of sugar and additives compete as the major causes of concern.

Despite being aware that the study did not demonstrate a causal relationship, there was a suggestion that sugar should be a "public health concern”.

There are dozens of foods to which an adverse reaction has been demonstrated, although a reaction to sucrose is less frequent than many other foods.

The second possible mechanism investigated was hypoglycemia. Here, researchers found that in children who have a tendency to develop low blood glucose levels - although not so low as they can be clinically described as hypoglycemic - also have a tendency towards irritability and violence.

But researchers said that sucrose is not the main cause of swings in blood glucose levels. The parents report that their child is distracted and fidgety an hour or so after eating sugary foods, but researchers analysis of the evidence pointed to parents seeing what they expected to see, not what is really happening.

The origin of the idea that sugar is responsible for hyperactivity seems to be purely based on the fact that sugar is a source of energy, as are other carbohydrates.

Researchers also looked at studies into the role of sucrose on micro-nutrient status, since taking supplements of certain micronutrients has been linked to a decrease in anti-social behavior.

Micro-nutrient intake is more closely associated with the total energy rather than sucrose intake.

However despite the indication that sugar may not be contributing to behavioral problems in children, the food industry is still in the midst of a major reformulation of products to reduce levels of nutrients that can have an impact on health.

As well as sugar, such nutrients unhealthy fats and salt.

The main impetus behind the sugar reduction drive is the current obesity crisis. Statistics released by the UK's Department of Health in February 2008 said that in school year one (aged four to five), 22.9 per cent of children were seen to be overweight or obese. By comparison, in year six (aged ten to 11) 31.6 per cent were seen to be overweight.

Excess consumption of salt and unhealthy fats have also been linked to increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
Sugar not to blame for kids behaving badly

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