Sugar consumption, locomotion, task orientation, and learning in preschool children

J Abnorm Child Psychol. 1989 Jun;17(3):349-57. doi: 10.1007/BF00917404.


A challenge design was employed to investigate the effect of sucrose consumption on the behavior of 12 preschool children. On separate experimental days, subjects were tested individually with either a challenge sucrose drink (2 gm/kg body weight) or a placebo drink sweetened with aspartame. Fifteen-minute observations of each child during free play were made at 15, 45, and 75 minutes after ingestion of the drink. Assessment with a paired-associate learning task was made before ingestion and at 30, 60, and 90 minutes after ingestion. This study was a partial replication and extension of one of the few studies in the literature that has found an effect of sucrose on the behavior of normal children. On all dependent measures (locomotion, task orientation, and learning), the study failed to obtain significant differences between the two conditions.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Attention
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / etiology*
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / psychology
  • Child, Preschool
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / administration & dosage*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Learning Disabilities / etiology*
  • Learning Disabilities / psychology
  • Male
  • Motor Activity
  • Risk Factors


  • Dietary Carbohydrates