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Debunking the Sugar High

Duke researchers say there's no such thing with children

FRIDAY, June 28, 2002 (HealthDayNews) -- Parents might be reluctant to let their kids eat sugary snacks, fearing the extra energy they get will make them impossible to control.

Well, Duke University researchers now say let them eat cake -- and candy bars, too, for that matter.

In their new study, the scientists found no evidence of the so-called sugar high.

Richard Surwit, chief of medical psychology at Duke University Medical Center, says there was no evidence that those on a diet containing sugar suffered any of the hyperactivity or mood swings typically associated with the sugar high.

In fact, Surwit says those on a calorie-controlled diet that contained sugar lost the same amount of weight as those on a no-sugar diet.

So, how did sugar get its bad name?

Surwit says the government started the myth during World War II to discourage the use of sugar, which was severely rationed. He adds that any effect from foods such as candy are probably due to the caffeine found in chocolate.

More information

The American Dietetic Association discusses sugar's effects on your health.

SOURCE: Duke University Medical Center press release, June 24, 2002
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