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Diet & Hyperactivity

Are soda drinking teens more hyperactive because of the sugar, caffeine, or preservatives?

August 25, 2009 |
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Supplementary Info

Sources Cited


Image thanks to lilli2de.


Sodium benzoate was also been linked to hyperactivity, which may be one reason a study of 5000 10th graders found soft drink consumption significantly tied to hyperactivity in both male and female teens. Maybe though, it’s just all that sugar. Is that scientific fact or unscientific fiction?
Sugar consumption alone does not seem to affect child behavior, according to a new review this year, but soft drinks aren’t made with table sugar anymore, they have high fructose corn syrup.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.

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Dr. Michael Greger

Doctor's Note

Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. And check out the other videos on soda. Also, there are 1,449 other subjects covered in the rest of my videos--please feel free to explore them as well!

For some more context, please check out my associated blog posts:  Is Caffeinated Tea Really Dehydrating?Aspartame: Fibromyalgia & Preterm Birth, and Schoolchildren Should Drink More Water 

If you haven't yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

  • Michael Greger M.D.

    Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. And check out the other videos on soda. Also, there are 1,449 other subjects covered in the rest of my videos–please feel free to explore them as well!

  • sandy100

    Message *:

    My question is: My 8 year old daughter is sensitive to salicylates. So many fruits and vegetables are limited. She was tested positive for sodium benzoate and is sensitive to food dyes. Her behavior and mood is very impaired. Her behavior is compared to a bipolar person within one hour of consuming foods she should not have eaten. She is a highly sensitive person.
    How do I “detox” her after eating something at school or a party. Her behavior is horrible. She is rude, backtalk, mean, spiteful and then she comes down to a low and she cries and gets frustrated. I am at a loss,I can not watch her 24/7. These foods affect her brain and that worries me. Do you have any suggestions?

    PS. I make her bread and baked goods. No dairy (milk), only white cheese. No lunch meats, no pizza besides what I make homemade, no sodas, no teas etc.
    When she consumes peanut butter or popcorn (even airpopped)she is at her worse.
    We try to get her to drink lots of water to “flush” out her system. I also make her fresh juice everyday.

    Thank you so much for any help.


  • Ashish

    Here is a new paper about sodium benzoat & Hyperactivity: