Sugar and Hyperactivity: A Critical Review of Empirical Findings


Studies examining the effects of sugar ingestion on the behavior of children, both normal and hyperactive, were reviewed. Although the results of correlational studies suggested that high levels of sugar consumption may be associated with increased rates of inappropriate behavior, the results of dietary challenge studies have been inconsistent and inconclusive. Most studies have failed to find any effects associated with sugar ingestion, and the few studies that have found effects have been as likely to find sugar improving behavior as making it worse. Design parameters unique to undertaking sugar challenge studies were identified, and suggestions for future research were offered.

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