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Attention deficit disorder - sugar on the bench of the accused



Some studies have attempted to demonstrate the link between sugar consumption and attention deficit with or without hyperactivity.


A clinical study was undertaken by Brooklyn College in 2003. The researchers came to the following conclusion:

"The attention deficit with hyperactivity (TDAH) is multi-factorial and complex, requiring a multiple therapeutic approach. Nutritional management is an aspect that has been relatively neglected to date. Nutritional factors such as food additives, refined sugars, food sensitivities/allergies, and fatty acid deficiencies have all been linked to TDAH. There is more evidence that many children with behavioural problems are sensitive to one or more dietary components that may have a negative impact on their behaviour. Individual response is an important factor in determining the appropriate method to treat children with TDAH. In general, a change in diet plays a major role in the treatment of TDAH and should be considered part of the treatment protocol.[1]»


Sugar is a particularly sensitive subject. Current research does not seem to confirm this hypothesis[2]. On the other hand, food additives, including dyes, that accompany it could be involved.


However, sugar is linked to a reaction hypoglycaemia, i.e., after sugar consumption, an increase in blood sugar followed by a "crash," which would explain in children a greater agitation followed by a difficulty to concentrate and to have a good level of energy. It is also linked to the obesity epidemic, type 2 diabetes, decreased immunity and diseases related to silent inflammation, including cardiovascular and neurological diseases, to name a few.


In terms of nutrition, the best way to increase attention, concentration and memory is to eat natural, whole and organic foods that contain protein at every meal, leafy vegetables or fruits and good omega-3-rich fats such as flax, hemp, chia or fish.

[1] Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback. On 2003 Mar; 28 (1):63-75.

Nutrition in the treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: a neglected but important aspect.

Schnoll R, Burshteyn D, Cea-Aravena J.


Department of Health and Nutrition Sciences, Brooklyn College, City University of New York, 2900 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11210-2889, USA.


[2] Nutr Res Pract. On 2011 June; 5(3): 236–245.

Correlation between attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and sugar consumption, quality of diet, and dietary behavior in school children

Yujeong Kim1 and Hyeja Chang

Published online 2011 June 21. doi: 10.4162 / nrp.2011.5.3.236

PMCID: PMC3133757