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Why should children with ADHD avoid sweets and sugary foods?

Leopold D. Galland, MD
Internal Medicine
Over 50 percent of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) crave sweets, often at the expense of nutritious food. About 70 percent of children who crave sweets have much more control over their behavior when their food is low in added sugar. My first line of advice to parents is, keep your children away from sugary cereals, pancakes or waffles with syrup, soft drinks, candy, cakes, cookies, doughnuts, ice cream, frozen yogurt, and chocolate. Every ounce of sugar reduction helps. Sugar alone does not cause hyperactivity. It reduces the nutritional quality of the diet and may aggravate other food intolerances.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.