Have you ever heard someone blame the hyper-activeness of a child on sugar? Of course you have because "the notion that sugar causes children to become hyperactive is by far the most popular example of how people believe food can affect behavior, especially among young children." The truth however is that years of research have found no clear scientific evidence to back the claim. According to Mina Dulcan, MD, head of child and adolescent psychiatry at Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago, "There is elegant research demonstrating that sugar is not at all related to inattention or hyperactivity." This demonstrates two principles of scientific thinking, correlation vs. causation and falsifiability. For correlation vs. causation, the question is does sugar cause children to be hyper-active and for falsifiability the question is can we prove that sugar does not make children hyper-active. The answer to the first question is no and to the latter yes. Research has proven that there is no correlation between sugar and hyper-activity.
Many times parents believe there child is hyper-active after eating something with sugar because of preconceived notions "... if the parents think their child has had sugar, they often perceive a difference in behavior that is not really there by objective measures." "When parents observe a change in behavior, their minds often go back to the child's last treat rather than other circumstances that might have influenced the behavior." That can be considered an example of the scientific principle of Occam's razor-the parents choose the simplest explanation to explain their child's behavior instead of considering other possibilities. Often treats are given around holidays such as Halloween, Christmas, and etc. Perhaps it is the holiday season and relatives visiting and such that is making the child excited and extra active. "The idea that food might have an effect on children's behavior first became popularized in the 1970s" and since then there have been many studies done and some have supported the notion, but the majority show no relationship between food and behavior. That would demonstrate the scientific principle of ruling out rival hypothesis. The sugar notion proves that once a large amount of people believe something to be true, they usually stick w/ it and often times go w/ the simple explanation.