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IS 1115 TWP: A Library Guide: Evaluating information sources. How Good Is the Evidence?

Information sources establish your credibility. Use the most credible sources that are appropriate for persuading your audience.

Claim #3: Sugar Does Not Make Children Hyper (with evidence)

Argument Number 3

The idea that sugar consumption makes children hyperactive seems to have originated with the work of B. F. Feingold and was popularized in his 1975 book, Why your child is hyperactive.  The phenomenon was called the “food additive hypothesis.”  People still generally believe the consumption of sugar makes children hyperactive. It does not.   

Despite the opinions of many parents and pediatricians, studies that tried to support Feingold’s claims either failed or were found to be flawed (Barling & Bullen, 1985).  Many studies have proven that this popular belief is simply not true (DiBattista & Shepherd, 1993Wolraich et al., 1994).

Despite the overwhelming scientific evidence to the contrary, you can still find sources supporting the myth.   

On the Fox News Health website, you’ll find “It’s no surprise that too much sugar can cause tooth decay, hyperactivity and increase the risk for obesity and type 2 diabetes” (Revelant, 2014).  On the Healthline website, even though they claim, “Healthline's medical reviewers ensure that our content is accurate, current, and user-focused,” you’ll find, “The jury’s still out on sugar’s effect on hyperactivity”

“…[W]hat is known about the effects of sugar consumption on human behavior and performance is that sugar consumption, even in high amounts, does not contribute to hyperactivity, inattention, juvenile delinquency, reductions in cognitive performance, or other behavior problems in children or adults” (Flora & Polenick, 2013, p. 521).




Works Cited

Barling, J., & Bullen, G. (1985). Dietary factors and hyperactivity: A failure to replicateThe Journal of Genetic Psychology: Research and Theory On Human Development146(1), 117-123. doi:10.1080/00221325.1985.9923454

DiBattista, D., & Shepherd, M. (1993). Primary school teachers' beliefs and advice to parents concerning sugar consumption and activity in childrenPsychological Reports72(1), 47-55. doi:10.2466/pr0.1993.72.1.47

Feingold, B. F. (1975). Why your child is hyperactive.  New York: Plenum Press.

Flora, S. R., & Polenick, C. A. (2013). Effects of sugar consumption on human behavior and performanceThe Psychological Record61, 513-524.

Revelant, J. (2014, August 17). 4 shocking ways sugar affects your kid's health.  Retrieved August 3, 2018, from Fox News: Health website: 

Rosén, L. A., Booth, S. R., Bender, M. E., McGrath, M. L., Sorrell, S., & Drabman, R. S. (1988). Effects of sugar (sucrose) on children's behaviorJournal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology56(4), 583-589. doi:10.1037/0022-006X.56.4.583

Wolraich, M. L., Lindgren, S. D., Stumbo, P. J., Stegink, L., Appelbaum, M. I., & Kristy, M. C. (1994). Effects of diets high in sucrose or aspartame on the behavior and cognitive performance of childrenThe New England Journal of Medicine330(5), 301-306

I'm Convinced (case 3)

This argument convinces me that sugar....?
makes children hyper: 14 votes (25.93%)
does not make children hyper: 13 votes (24.07%)
...I just can't make up my mind.: 27 votes (50%)
Total Votes: 54