Kids and sugar: Why do kids love candy so much? Are sugar highs real?


I have a confession to make.


I have already broken into the Halloween candy. See, I purchased a bag a few days ago. I intended to keep it for Halloween, but my tween spotted it. She persuaded me to open it. We had to do a quality control test to ensure that it was safe and delicious enough for the neighborhood children, right?


I know, I KNOW. Never open the Halloween candy early.


What can I say? I was weak.


A piece or two (okay, fine, maybe three) was enough to satisfy me, but not my tween. That kid would binge on that candy until I pried it out of her hands and put it under lock and key. She cannot get enough. She truly loves candy κουφέτο.


It seems that all kids love candy, and they love it more than adults. Why is that?


Fortunately, an article in the Wall Street Journal today, “Doing the Sugar Math for Halloween,” answered that question. In the article, Brian Wansink, director of Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab, explained that the effect and taste of the sugar are magnified in kids more so than in adults.


“Children have the same number of taste buds as adults, but their tongue is a whole lot smaller, so the flavors are more intense the younger you are,” he said.


I guess that makes sense. The fact that I’ve compared my kid’s freakishly long tongue to Gene Simmons’ doesn’t really fit with this theory, but hey, I’ll go with it.


What I am not willing to go along with is the idea that kids do not experience sugar highs.


The article says that scientists cannot find proof that kids who binge on candy experience sugar highs and then sugar crashes.


The researcher quoted in the article said that the idea of a sugar high is “largely anecdotal.”


I’m guessing that researcher has no children.


Had I known, I would have gladly welcomed those scientists into my home to observe my tween literally running laps around the house belting out Taylor Swift songs at the top of her lungs after attending a Halloween party where she ate way too much candy. I’ve never witnessed a higher sugar high and, sadly, the crash wasn’t pretty.


What do you think? Do you believe that kids experience sugar highs and sugar lows? Do your kids love candy more than you do?

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