Candy,Halloween,Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

Relax, parents: Halloween candy won’t make kids hyper

October 28, 2016
in Kids

Parents swear it will, but science shows that Halloween candy and party sweets won't make kids bounce off the wall.

Trick-or-treaters will soon be in hot pursuit of Halloween sweets, and prudent parents are already calculating ways to ration candy or, even worse, hand out raisins or other lame-o healthy treats.

Memo to Mom and Dad: You don’t need to fret about the dreaded sugar high because it’s not a real thing. And, you know what, it hasn’t been since 1995.

That’s when pediatrics researcher Mark Wolraich, M.D., reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association that sugar doesn’t affect kids’ behavior — and effectively dropped the mic on the subject.

We were about as close to proving the null hypothesis as possible,” Wolraich, chief of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at Oklahoma University Health Sciences Center, tells the Daily News. But the notion that gobbling sweets makes tots bounce off the walls is a myth that won’t go away. “Strong and prevalent beliefs frequently last long despite evidence to the contrary,” he adds. “Since the studies were published in the ’90s they have been forgotten or discounted.

The thrill of dressing up, not the treats, makes kids excited.

The fallacy about candy making kids hyper is understandable. People with low blood-sugar levels can get a boost from sugary drinks. But it’s not the same for someone with normal blood-sugar levels. And there’s the fact that kids do behave amped up at treat-filled Halloween and birthday parties — so parents connect the two.

But candy isn’t the culprit, it’s the thrill of the event. After all, it’s a rush to dress up like Action Karate Man, roam streets after dark with packs of kids and demand things from total strangers. “Birthday or holiday parties are usually times of excitement and are frequently less structured so that overactive behavior is likely to occur at those times,” says Wolraich. “If you combine that with the power of suggestion, the results are not surprising.”

Still, kids shouldn’t overdo sweets. While candy won’t make children hyper, there are cavities and flab to consider.

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