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In 1978 a study of 265 hy­per­ac­tive chil­dren found that they all had ab­nor­mally low blood sugar lev­els. This might have been a sign that they had pre­vi­ously eaten too much sugar and were now ‘crash­ing’. But al­most ev­ery study since then has failed to find any link. A meta-anal­y­sis in 1995 looked at 23 stud­ies and found that there was no sta­tis­ti­cally sig­nif­i­cant ef­fect of sugar on any of 14 dif­fer­ent mea­sures of be­hav­iour. Par­ents who see hy­per­ac­tive chil­dren at birth­day par­ties may blame the cake and sweets, when it is re­ally just the ex­cite­ment of the party it­self. In fact par­ents who are told their child has been given a sug­ary drink are more likely to judge their be­hav­iour as hy­per­ac­tive, even if it was re­ally a sugar-free drink that had been drunk.

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