It’s supposed to be a key rule in parenting: don’t give kids candy at night, as it will make them bounce off the walls with energy.
Sugar has long been thought to be a trigger for hyperactive behavior, causing children to run around and stuff themselves with beans.
Prince William’s youngest son, Prince Louis, five, was said to be suffering from the effects of eating sweets on the day of Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in 2022.
The young royal, fourth in line to the British throne, emerged as the star of the show when images of his silly facial expressions circulated online.
Now, experts have highlighted growing evidence suggesting the link between sweets and behavior IS real, but it’s not because there’s something in sugar that makes kids misbehave.
Prince Louis stole the nation’s hearts with his antics during the Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June 2022. Mike Tindall, the husband of Prince William’s cousin, suggested his cheeky behavior was due to a sugar high .
Prince Louis, Princess Charlotte and Savannah Phillips eating sweets during the Platinum Jubilee parade outside Buckingham Palace in London.
Prince Louis, son of Prince William and fourth in line to the throne.
And there’s a simple way to keep kids from going candy-crazy, without denying them the candy they love.
in a blog post Recently, on his Twitter account, Gideon Meyerowitz-Katz, an epidemiologist at the University of Wollongong in Australia, wrote: ‘The evidence is not accumulating.
‘Science shows quite conclusively that sugar alone does not make children hyperactive. The great urban myth is just that: a myth.
The idea seems plausible since humans burn sugar for energy.
The body quickly converts sugar from food into a simple sugar called glucose, which is transported through the blood and reaches each cell, providing us with energy.
Eating a lot of simple sugars, like those in Halloween candy, in a short space of time means they are processed quickly and can give us a big energy boost.
But this peak drops to normal levels after a relatively short period of time, and studies show that this does not result in hyperactive behavior in children.
But multiple studies conducted in the 1990s found that sugar does not influence children’s behavior.
In the most famous of these, in 1994, mothers were told that their children had been given sugar or an artificial sweetener. Then each one was asked to rate your child’s hyperactivity.
All of the children had been given artificial sweeteners, but mothers who were told their children consumed sugar were more likely to rate them as hyperactive.
This implies that sugar itself was not the cause of the children in the study being hyperactive, but rather the mothers’ expectations, which triggered a self-fulfilling prophecy.
The women’s expectations that sugar would make their children hyperactive meant they were more likely to interpret the behavior as too energetic.
“It’s been almost 40 years and people still think that sugar makes their children very active or hyperactive,” said Dr. Sabiha Kanchwala, a general pediatrician at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital.
Some studies have even suggested that the opposite is true: that eating sugar makes people more focused, less aggressive, and more in control.
All of the findings are based on fairly weak evidence, said Dr. Gideon Meyerowitz-Katz, who recommended taking them “with a pinch of salt.”
“But they do make the hypothesis that sugar equals hyperactivity less likely than most parents would like to think,” he added.
The most likely explanations are social, Dr. Meyerowitz-Katz said. People think that sugar makes children hyperactive, so when they see overexcited children, they assume that they have consumed a generous dose of sugar.
And when children eat sugar, people expect them to be hyperactive. This is a “vicious cycle of confirmation bias” that does not apply to scientific studies, Dr. Meyerowitz-Katz said.
Children themselves also perpetuate the myth of sugar hyperactivity.
Dr. Kanchwala said, “Even children know the power of their brain.” They say: “I ate all these sweets, I’ll never sleep!”‘