Don’t worry too much about the post-Halloween sugar rush. Sugar doesn’t make kids hyperactive, writes Dan Willingham on The Answer Sheet, citing dozens of studies. If children act crazy after eating candy, it may be the excitement of trick or treating or the birthday party or just the thrill of a sweet treat.
Or it may be parental expectations: In a study, supposedly sugar-sensitive boys were given a drink sweetened with aspartame.
Mothers and sons then interacted on several tasks (e.g., building a Lego house together). Moms who were told their children had had sugar later rated their sons’ behavior during this interaction as more hyperactive.
Sugar also has no effect on children diagnosed with ADHD, Willingham writes.