In this study of Taiwanese children, a strong correlation was found between amount of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) consumed per day and ADHD. A dose-response effect was observed, such that children who consumed 7 or more SSB servings per week had a nearly 4-fold greater odds of an ADHD diagnosis. The authors pointed out that the “sugar” involved is generally high fructose corn syrup. They also considered the presence and amounts of artificial food coloring and preservatives in the SSBs, and recommended lowering them.
As the authors pointed out, this correlation does not prove causality, since SSB consumption could be a consequence of ADHD rather than a cause. They called for more research to determine the “direction” of this effect.
QUOTE: “SSBs containing high sugar content may cause insulin secretion, drive reactive hypoglycemia and stimulate an increase in epinephrine, which activates hyperactivity disorder behaviors.”
QUOTE: “Increasing evidence from animal studies clearly indicates that sugar consumption can cause deficits in cognitive and behavioral functions.”