Does sugar affect behavior in children? I’m willing to bet that you’ve already seen sugar impact the behavior of your own children. Trouble is, until recently, scientists have not been willing to state that sugar affects behavior. Yeah, right. Every Halloween night, I say a prayer for the teachers that will have to deal with all of the over-sugared and under slept children the next day…
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Does Sugar Affect Behavior? I Think, Yes!
Scientists have been denying a link between sugar consumption and children’s behavior for decades. I’m a parent and I just can’t go there. I’m not usually one to turn a blind eye to science. But… I’m sorry. I’ve seen my children after a throw down. Have you watched yours after a serious inhalation of sugar??? You can’t miss them!
I was pregnant with my first and took my glucose tolerance test. I fell asleep in the doctor’s office with a magazine spread over my belly. The kid got seriously rowdy and kicked the magazine off my belly! And it didn’t stop there. He just kept going. For about 2 hours. To this day, he’s extremely sensitive to sugar.
See For Yourself If You Think That Sugar Affects Behavior
I’m going to let you watch this and then you can decide. Does sugar affect behavior? There are several segments in this episode of Britain’s “Food Hospital,” all pertaining to children and all are fascinatingly related to nutrition. But the segment looking at whether sugar affects behavior in children starts at 24:20. No matter what you already think – you will not believe what they find out!!! Watch this quick segment and let me know what you think. Does sugar affect behavior of children?
Sugar Intake Guidelines for Children
To put things in perspective, the American Heart Association Guidelines for children state:
Preschoolers with a daily caloric intake of 1,200 to 1,400 calories shouldn’t consume any more than 65 calories, or about 4 teaspoons, of added sugar a day.
Children ages 4-8 with a daily caloric intake of 1,600 calories should consume no more than 45 calories, or about 3 teaspoons a day. (In order to accommodate all the nutritional requirements for this age group, there are fewer calories available for discretionary allowances like sugar.)
As your child grows into his pre-teen and teen years, and his caloric range increases to 1,800 to 2,000 a day, the maximum amount of added sugar included in his daily diet should be 5 to 8 teaspoons.
Unfortunately, as a country, we are far exceeding these guidelines. Estimates range anywhere from three to five times the recommended amount every day. This is particularly bad for our children for many reasons. First, sugar will deplete vitamins and minerals that children need to grow and develop properly. That’s assuming that they were getting the vitamins and minerals in the first place. And often they don’t because when children are eating sugary snacks and treats, they tend not to be hungry for nutritious foods that can adequately fuel their bodies.
TODAY’S PERSONAL SUGAR ADDICTION CHALLENGE:
Take notice of behavior after consuming a lot of sugar – both yours and your children’s. Do you have “brain fog?” Are your children able to hear and process when you speak to them? Are they hyper? What about afterwards, is there a slump? A crash?
SUGAR ADDICTION ACTION ITEM:
If they are old enough, talk to your children about how they feel, before, during and after eating a lot of sugar. The level of their self awareness may surprise you!
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