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Why Won’t Science Admit What Moms Already Know?

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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Can sugar affect behavior? Do you believe what the science has been saying for decades? #childbehavior #write31days #sugaraffectbehavior


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.


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?


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!

Information, Knowledge, Understanding, Tips, Hacks, Tricks - You'll get it all over the next 31 days. Kick your sugar addiction to the curb! #sugaraddiction #write31days #sugarhabit #sugar
Information, Knowledge, Understanding, Tips, Hacks, Tricks – You’ll get it all over the next 31 days. Kick your sugar addiction to the curb!

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  1. As a former elementary school teacher, I can attest to the effects that sugar has on children! I was always the teacher that the kids were disappointed to get, when they realized that I didn’t give out candy as a reward or even want it anywhere near my classroom. It was always so hard for kids to sit in my room, when they could see the other 3 teachers throwing out things like Skittles and M&Ms to their students who answered questions correctly.

    1. Every teacher we’ve ever had has always said the same. They could always tell how much sugar children ate on a regular basis, just from the behavior in class!

  2. Love this post! When I was a new mom I underestimated how much sugar would impact my boys. It didn’t take long to figure it out though. We don’t keep sugary stuff in the house often and limit treats. If they go out with friends and have the types of candy that we don’t allow I can always tell in their behavior.

    1. Thank you 🙂 I agree – I figured it out really quickly. It was easier with my first; I felt like I had a lot more control over what he ate. Now, my younger one goes with him to birthday parties and such. Sugar isn’t forbidden, but we do make sure that they understand that it’s a treat and should be treated as such.

  3. Although I’m fully aware that my son to the point where he is running sprints all over the house. I just let him have some anyways because I want him to have some enjoyment in life. I never buy candy or cookies, but sometimes I’ll bring them home from work, or he may get sugar from the juices he drinks. Either way I don’t want him to grow up not experiencing the simple things kids enjoy.

    1. I definitely agree that children should be able to experience simple enjoyments – and some of those are sweets! We all enjoy sweet treats from time to time. We aren’t completely sugar free 🙂

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