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Does Sugar Cause ADHD?

Robert Merki

Sugar does NOT cause ADHD.

This is a myth.

If sugar really caused ADHD, we would start seeing scientific evidence pointing to this conclusion.

Instead, we see the opposite. People all over the ADHD community have been frustrated by this false premise for many years. Don't fall for it.

If you or someone you know has ADHD, it's not because of sugar. ADHD is a genetic neurodevelopmental disorder which a complex series of possible causes, none of which are as simple as "eating too much sugar".

So please, stop pushing this myth. Sugar in large doses is not healthy, but it's not a cause of ADHD.


A study in 2011 concluded that there was "no significant association was observed between total volume of simple sugar intake from snacks and ADHD development."

Another study found that "insufficient evidence exists to suggest that dietary interventions improve the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder."

One study in 2016 saw an increase in sugar consumption by 6 year old boys with ADHD, but this tapered off by age 11, and they concluded that this might be a consequence of ADHD (inability to control urges) rather than a cause.

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