Photo Credit: gemphotography / istockphoto.com
3. Poor Diet and Viewing Habits Do NOT Cause ADHD
Simply stated, there is no proof to say that sugar or screen time, in general, causes ADHD. With that being said, there is evidence that points towards sugar and TV causing ADHD symptoms.
With sugar, people can see the impact for themselves — eating large amounts of sugar can trigger high activity levels and short attention spans that resemble hyperactivity and poor attention. These signs do not mean that they have ADHD, though. It’s just like if someone drank a lot of coffee and began feeling shaky, flushed and more irritable; they wouldn’t have an anxiety disorder.
Sugar, like caffeine, is a drug. It creates changes when put into your body or the body of a child. TV is the same way. Research shows children score lower test results when they watch fast-paced cartoons with frequent scene changes. These tests measure cognitive capability and impulse control. The results found were immediate, like sugar consumption, and it is reasonable to think that they would wear off after time has passed. So, while some people try to link screen time to higher rates of ADHD, it’s important to remember that this is not cause and effect. It could be that kids with ADHD seek out more the stimulation TV provides.