It’s common to joke about children being on a sugar high after a party, so all of us know –on some level– that food influences how children behave. But how many of us realise the extent to which our children’s day-to-day actions are shaped and moulded by the foods we feed them? An experiment on the effects of food on behaviour done by the British TV series, The Food Hospital, produced shocking results. Party food loaded with sugar, artificial colouring, and other additives has the power to turn your lovely, cooperative child into a badly behaved, physically aggressive youngster. Children in Britain aged 5 – 9 attended a party. They were split into two groups:
Group One: was fed healthy options such as apple slices, carrot sticks, sandwiches, hummus, etc. and was given water to drink.
Group Two: received the usual party fair: candy, potato chips, and soda (or as they say in the UK, sweets, crisps, and fizzy pop), all containing loads of sugar, artificial colouring, and other.
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The children’s ability to follow instruction, concentrate, and remember information was then measured as they played party games, and their actions were carefully recorded. You may be surprised by what they found. It wasn’t only how they behaved that was remarkably different. The healthy food group did “48% better in the games overall” – that’s a huge improvement in performance.