Sugar intake may be linked to aggression and poor mental health

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article

A new study has linked high sugar intake to aggressive behaviour and poor mental health. 

Researchers from the University of Colorado suggest that the increase in people being diagnosed with conditions such as ADHD, bipolar disorder and aggression are associated with consuming fructose. 

They have also discovered that it may be down to evolution that humans have developed an addiction to sugar over the years. 

READ MORE: Everything you need to know about intuitive eating, plus 7 great habits to consider adopting

The lead author of the study says that fructose, which is a component of sugar, tricks the body into thinking that it's starving by lowering energy in cells and triggers a foraging response. 

This can result in people indulging more freely in risk-taking, impulsivity, rapid decision-making and aggressiveness as they are seeking out food - specifically sugar - as a means of survival. 

READ MORE: We tried Victoria Beckham's R100-a-loaf breakfast bread and here’s why we’ll probably stick to our regular R16 loaves

Too much of this behaviour caused by excess sugar intake may cause ADHD, mental health problems and violence. Researchers, however, do not blame aggressive behaviour on sugar but rather note it may be one contributor. 

They urge for more research into the risk factors of sugar and fructose metabolism. 

Compiled by Phelokazi Mbude

Follow us on social media: FacebookTwitterInstagram

Sign up to W24’s newsletters so you don't miss out on any of our stories and giveaway. 

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
What are you most looking forward to buying this Black Friday?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
It looks like the pandemic is still far from over, so more loungewear
17% - 25 votes
The lockdown has made me want to invest more in homeware and furniture, so I'll be adding those to my Black Friday cart
25% - 38 votes
I'm going to use it to get a headstart on Christmas gifting
38% - 57 votes
Footwear is all about comfort this year, so definitely sneakers
13% - 20 votes
It's a good time to get discounted wigs and other beauty essentials
7% - 10 votes