T Nation

Question About Sugar


I am having a back and forth "discussion" with a researcher working in the diabetes field. She tells me that there is no scientific evidence, and therefore, no correlation whatsoever, with kids being bastards and their sugar intake. While I am not ready to blame all of the problems of our children solely on sugar, I am sure there must be a relationship between excessive sugar intake and their behavior. And as most of the regulars on this website know, just because a doctor or researcher says it is so, does not make it so.

So, here is what I need: some articles, studies, any kind of ammunition that covers sugar intake and behavior. I am not merely interested just so I can say, "Told you so!", because when I think about it, I cannot remember reading or studying anything on this topic. But there must be some relationship, don't you think?

Here is a little story for you. I used to teach english to some of the researchers at the Longwood medical area in Boston. One day while I was waiting for some students to arrive, I saw an interesting scene. There was a mother and her infant (possibly 6 to 9 months old), and she was putting SPRITE into the baby bottle!! Am I the only person that thinks that is fucked up? Christ, the brain is still developing when we are seniors in high school. That cannot in any way be construed as "OK".

Am I wrong here? If I am unknowingly blowing smoke I really want to know. If I am wrong in what I think is a problem, I want to know I am wrong. And I know that there is a difference between a 9 month old and a 9 year old drinking Sprite, but either way, there must be some long term effect if it is continually repeated.

Help me out here. Am I right or wrong? A little bit of both? Show me the light, folks!!

Thanks for your time all.



Hey man, you are totally not blowing smoke! Sugar is not just a simple "sweet" that every child, youth, and adult is addicted to, it is so much more than that...it is a drug. Back when sugar was first created( or extracted from cane and processed to death) it was extremely expensive, and only the rich could ever purchase it. Now, you can find it in every home on the planet. When they figured out how to process poppy seeds, oppium was created, processing that made morphine, proccessing it again makes heroin. Sugar is created in just the same way! They take the cane juice, process it, and that makes mollasses... it goes through several processed just like heroin. Do you know what they mix into cocaign to make it less concentrated? Yep, powdered sugar. You need to purchase a book called "Sugar Blues" by William Dufty. It will totally blow you away! You can find it at just about any barnes & noble. After reading the first couple of chapters, I quit eating sugar completely. It took me about a month to get off of it, but I have never felt better. Buy the book, it's only like eight bucks or so, which is not a whole lot, considering it can change your life! I hope I helped somewhat,



I'd probably agree that there's no correlation between sugar and kids' behavior, although I don't have time to look up any studies. Maybe it's more likely parents who let their kids eat crap are too permissive and don't teach their kids any discipline or how to control any of their impulses. I think the internet has a big impact on things too. Just a few years ago, if I couldn't remember some piece of trivia, like the name of an actor, I'd just forget about it, and maybe I'd run into their name a few weeks later. Now, I "have" to run to IMDB if a question comes up.

I don't think kids have to entertain themselves anymore, or go outside for that matter. I never see any neighborhood kids running around, even though I know there are a bunch on this street, which is a nice, safe neighborhood. Oh yeah, and that Sprite thing was messed up.


Thanks for the info on the book. I am always interested in getting my hands on that kind of stuff.

You know, it boggles the mind that a specialist in diabetes would say that just because there is no scientific papers on the subject (which I doubt), there can be no correlation between sugar and behavior.

Another little story: There was a kid I grew up with that would drink at least 6 cans of Mt Dew just while we were at school. Who knows how many he had afterwards. Where I grew up, sodas were like water, really. Still are. Anyway, my mom just told me that he was sentenced to 13 years for running the biggest meth-lab in the area. I am not trying to tie the two together, but I always wondered when I was a kid, if there would be any problems in his life later on. All I could imagine in those days were rotting teeth. Maybe there is something more to it. But I don't want to make too much out of it.


Can you say--extremist!

Certainly the overuse of sugar and now expecially HFCS is an issue, I can't quite agree to put it on par with opiates. In fact the whole drug tangent is non-relative to the affects on the body.
I can point you to at least as many studies that show that there is no direct correlation between sugar and frenzied behavior as those that do. What I think we can mostly agree on is the negative nutritional effects of sugar and the fact that overconsumption is a problem.
I also think you will find many studies that show no correlation to diabetes. But you will find a ton of them that lead you to obesity. This, to me, is the issue to which we should be most concerned.
But it isn't all sugar. Decreased activity is atleast as big of a culprit. By their nature the kids can consume some sugar with no negative side-effects, but the combination of over indulgence and lack of activity is devasting our youth.
To the mother feeding her baby soda--yah, that's just not right at all. My son is 5 in two weeks and is allowed 1 8oz root beer with his lunch on the weekend. we don't forbid, but we do monitor candy. He does not like cereal, so that, so far, is a blessing.


Oh I agree. I am not trying to say that it is just sugar, you know. There are a multitude of extant factors that all come together in some way that we have not quite pin-pointed.

I still make my way out to the gym 5 days per week, but there is something in me that makes it easy to sit for hours and play Quake online. So I shouldn't bitch all that much about the kids, I suppose. I grew up next to a state forest, so most of my time was spent getting poison oak and pissing in the river. But if I had what we have today, I would probably be overweight with a non-existent attention span.

Anyway, nearly everything causes cancer or makes us crazy, so I guess it is best to just pay attention to what is ahead of me, instead of obsessing over these things. I probably won't get ass cancer from sitting for hours playing Quake, unless there is some cancerous fiber in the cushion, but I guess that would only apply if I were naked. Besides, what with all the squatting and DL'ing I do, I have a cancer resistant ass. Knock on wood.

Well, this has gone way off subject, hasn't it?


As a kid, I took in way too much sugar, that is for sure. I turned out all right. Although, at the time I was waaaay overweight. I was the fat kid. Oh , there were others, but I was the king. I didn't get into lifting until I was 27. So, I have a lot of fat years behind me. It is obvious that it was my fault, of course, but all of my friends did the same thing. It is similar to what JB said in his newest article. The people I was surrounded by "helped" me into that weight.

At least now I have a new group that I hang with and a different kind of support is there.

It is great that your son doesn't go for the cereal. And that root beer rule you have is nice. It makes it like the cheat meal at the end of the week after 5 days of defying gravity with barbells.

I will most likely raise my kids in Japan, and the eating situation is different from the one we have here in the US. Although, Japan is becoming even more westernized, so we will see how it goes.

It is funny and sad, because there is a term for the increase in all kinds of cancer in Japan. It is referred to as "Westernization".

We're still number 1!!


Sorry, I meant to go with the whole "correlation doesn't equal causation" bit. You probably can positively correlate crappy behavior with sugar consumption.