Picture this: You and your family are attending a celebration such as a child’s birthday party, a graduation or a holiday event. Someone leans over to you and says, “Look at these kids just bouncing off the walls! They are on a sugar high!” This is one of the most common misperceptions I hear about food – especially when it comes to children. Both sugar and food colors have, undeservedly, become common scapegoats for hyperactivity (and sometimes just energetic behavior) in kids.

As a registered dietitian, I help people make well-informed nutrition decisions for themselves and their families. My recommendations aren’t just based on opinion but on scientific evidence. I try to reassure people that sugar and food colors do not cause kids to “bounce off the walls.”

August is Kids Eat Right Month.  To celebrate, here are some credible information and resources on child nutrition and some facts about sugar and food colors:

1.    Consuming sugar does not cause a spike and crash in your blood sugar. Unless you have diabetes or reactive hypoglycemia, your body does an excellent job of keeping your blood sugar within a normal range.  Also, these normal changes in blood sugar do not cause hyperactivity.

2.    The potential relationship between food colors and hyperactivity has been studied for more than thirty years. Yet, research has not determined a “cause and effect” relationship. The vast majority of experts agree that food colors do not contribute to hyperactivity in children.

3.    If you want to know which foods contain sugar or food colors, or if you’re still worried your child is reacting negatively to sugar, food colors, or any food for that matter, check out the full article I wrote for the FACTS Network.

For more information about me, check out my Guilt-Free RD philosophy here!

To check out other posts on my “Food for Thought” blog, click here.

To listen to my podcast interviews with food and nutrition experts, click here.

For more info on my background and credentials, click here and here.

If you’re interested in my interviews with other dietitians, and their nutrition insight, click here.

Note: I’m pleased to be a consultant to The International Food Information Council, providing blogs and other social media content that shares their resources for health professionals and the public. I believe whole-heartedly in their mission of effectively communicating science-based information on health, nutrition and food safety for the public good.
Thank you for visiting my site! I hope you have a Guilt-Free day!


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