A lot of us can bring to mind the specific horror of watching a swarm of 8-year-olds devour cake, ice cream and candy at a birthday party. It's not just the fear of rotten teeth or upset stomachs; it's the much deeper -- much harder to treat -- concern of the dreaded Sugar Rush. The one that causes manic bursts of activity. The one that leads to tantrum-filled crashes.
While it might feel inevitable, the truth is that there's no real link between sugar and hyperactivity in youngsters [source: Wolraich]. In fact, one 1994 study showed that mothers who thought their children drank a sugary drink were convinced the kids were hyperactive, despite receiving a placebo. The mothers who thought the kids drank sugar were observed, and it was noted that they hovered and scolded their children more than mothers who were told their children received a placebo [source: Hoover].