IN THE 1980s, several large studies evaluated the affects of eating a high sugar diet and its relation to antisocial or aggressive behavior. These studies are 30 years old now. We didn't pay attention then.
IT'S TIME to pay attention.
In one study, 174 juvenile delinquents (the treatment group) were placed on a sugar-restricted diet for 2 years. 102 other kids (the control group) were fed a “normal” diet during the same 2 years. During the study, the number of incidents of antisocial or aggressive behavior was reduced by 45% in the treatment group. (Remember, the treatment group was on the sugar-restricted diet.)
Measured antisocial and aggressive behaviors included assault, robbery, rape, aggravated assault, auto theft, vandalism, child molestation, arson, and possession of a deadly weapon. Just so you know...
In the largest study, 3,999 incarcerated juveniles were studied for 2 years (same deal: half or so in the treatment group, the rest in the control group). Sugary soft drinks were replaced with fruit juices, and high sugar snacks (candy bars) were replaced with non-refined carbohydrate snacks (popcorn).
Here's what happened:
Here's what happened:
- suicide attempts were reduced 100%; these kids stopped trying to kill themselves
- the need for restraints to prevent self-injury was reduced 75%
- disruptive behavior was reduced 42%
- assaults and fights were reduced 25%
A Few Suggestions
- listen to your child; many of them are more savvy than you are about nutrition, thanks to community health and nutrition educators
- educate yourself, then talk to your child about sugar addiction side effects (acne, aggression, anger, depression, sweating, anxiety, hunger, dizziness, headache, visual disturbances, decreased mental function, confusion, obesity)
- read food labels, and avoid purchasing any food with High Fructose Corn Syrup added (including most ketchup, salad dressings, candies, and processed foods )
- provide fresh, organic fruit or old fashioned cooked in the pot popcorn as an after school snack
- did you get the part about reading food labels? Put down the crap - for good
- Fire soft drinks from your life, and from the life of your child. Set the example, beginning today
- Your child may not exhibit any obviously negative signs from eating sugar, but may be allergic to the chemicals and artificial ingredients laden in these products. Hmmm...
- 4 grams of sugar = 1 teaspoon
- 1 cup of sugar = 48 teaspoons
- 1 pound of sugar = 2.3 cups of sugar
- 165 pounds of sugar (the average sugar intake per American per year) = approx.18,000 teaspoons of sugar
- average per person: 49 teaspoons of sugar daily
- 20 ounce Mountain Dew: 22 teaspoons of sugar
- Snickers Bar: 7 teaspoons of sugar
You will be heading in the right direction by refusing to buy any product pictured in this post.
Let's honor our children by helping them break the sugar addiction. Let's help them learn to honor each other and play well together, for this is their natural way of going.
Benton D. Hypoglycemia and aggression: a review. International Journal of Neuroscience, 1988; 41:163-168.
Schoenthaler SJ. Diet and crime; an empirical examination of the value of nutrition in the control and treatment of incarcerated juvenile offenders. International Journal of Biosocial Resources 1983; 4:35-29.
Schoenthaler SJ. The northern California diet-behavior program. An empirical evaluation of 3,000 incarcerated juveniles in Stanislaus County Juvenile Hall. International Journal Biosocial Resources 1983; 5:99-106.
Pizzorno J. and M. Murray. Textbook of Natural Medicine, 3rd ed. V2. 2006 Ch. 178 Hypoglycemia, 1784 85.