In the 1970s, anecdotal reports suggested sugars cause hyperactivity in children. Research, however, failed to confirm this theory. Hyperactivity was not seen in children after consistent high intakes or single large doses of sugars.
In a recent study, researchers examined the effect of eating sucrose (table sugar) on the behavior of children aged 6 to 10 years. The children were chosen for the study because their parents believed the children reacted negatively to sucrose. Preschool children were also studied. They are often considered sensitive to some foods. The researchers found no differences in the behavior of the children when they ate higher-than-normal amounts of sucrose compared to when they ate diets low in sucrose.
Actually, this and other research suggests sugars tend to calm both children and adults. This effect could go unnoticed due to other influences. For instance, the excitement of a birthday party or Halloween could override the calming effect of sugars.