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Quite often, I have heard the remark that children become hyperactive when high amounts of sugar are consumed.

But common websites suggest that sugar is a sedative, and the hyperactivity in children is more likely caused by 'artificial dyes and preservatives'. (http://curezone.com/forums/am.asp?i=1444631)

So, is Sugar a stimulant (for adults and children) or is it a sedative? Is there any conclusive research to validate this theory?

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    $\begingroup$ Can you tell us which websites do claim this? $\endgroup$ – Chris Sep 28 '14 at 10:04
  • $\begingroup$ better ask at skeptics.SE $\endgroup$ – Memming Sep 28 '14 at 19:51
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    $\begingroup$ @edition Sorry, but this page is not a source to be trusted. As Jeremy already answered, this is pseudoscientific bllsht. $\endgroup$ – Chris Sep 29 '14 at 6:31
  • $\begingroup$ thanks for the clarification, but you wanted a website :) $\endgroup$ – edition Sep 29 '14 at 6:38
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The idea that 'dyes and preservatives' cause hyperactivity dates back to this '76 paper by one Dr. Feingold. Despite being disproved neatly in 1978, it's still around.

As far as sugar goes, I recommend this review paper covers both the arguments for and against sugar causing hyperactivity, as well as 12 double-blind placebo controlled studies showing sugar has no effect on children's actual behavior.

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    $\begingroup$ What about sedative effects? Is there a paper in that context? And what about adults? $\endgroup$ – edition Sep 29 '14 at 6:08
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    $\begingroup$ I couldn't find anything testing specifically sedative effects. I don't see a plausible mechanism and 'no effect' means no effect, hyperactive or sedative. If you can think of a reason why something would be psychoactive only in adults, let me know, but I feel comfortable generalizing from children to adults here. $\endgroup$ – Resonating Sep 29 '14 at 19:40
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    $\begingroup$ Could you provide a summary of these arguments? It's better to have the answer here rather than on another site which is behind a paywall (not everyone has institutional subscriptions) $\endgroup$ – terdon Sep 30 '14 at 13:17

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