The Power of Sunlight

3.4 billion years ago

All life needs energy to survive, and the biggest source of energy for life on Earth is the Sun. Some of the early micro-organisms evolved a way to use the energy from sunlight to make sugars out of simpler molecules. This process is called photosynthesis. But unlike green plants today, the first photosynthesising organisms did not release oxygen as a waste product, so there was no oxygen in the air.

See other: History of Life

5/v mmxv

If the empty space in atoms could be removed, the entire human race could fit into an average sugar cube.

The most common surname in China is Wang.

Originally, the traditional Argentine game of pato, which is a combination of rugby, polo and basketball, was played – as the Spanish name suggests – with a live duck in a basket. Nowadays, a leather ball is used.

There are 117 road accidents in Rome every day.

No country in history has imprisoned more citizens than the United States.

See other: Quite Interesting Facts

Sugar and Hyperactivity

While many parents and teachers blame sugar consumption for an increase in hyperactive behaviour, scientific studies have failed to find a link. Studies have included kids who have ADHD as well as children without any pre-existing hyperactive behaviour.

Brown sugar crystals

Brown sugar crystals

‘Investigated the effects of sugar in hyperactive children. Seven-day dietary records were obtained on 28 hyperactive 4–7 yr olds, and independent, reliable observations of hyperactive behaviors were made on each S. Amount of sugar products consumed, ratio of sugar products to nutritional foods, and ratio of carbohydrates to protein were all significantly associated with amounts of destructive-aggressive and restless behaviors observed during free play. In contrast, the percentage of S‘s diet containing additives or salicylates (i.e., foods not allowed by the Feingold diet) was not significantly correlated with observed hyperactive behavior. A partial correlation procedure used to rule out 3rd variables that could have produced a spurious correlation between sugar consumption and observed behavior did not diminish the original correlations.’

– Prinz, R. J., Roberts, W. A., Hantman, E. (December 1980). Dietary correlates of hyperactive behavior in children Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, Volume 48(6) p. 760-769.

We might have blamed sugar too quickly. In fact, in some studies parents – the most common observers of child behaviour – reported more hyperactive behaviour when they thought kids were given a sugar solution even though the kids were given a placebo. This indicates that the connection between hyperactive behaviour and sweets actually might be in the minds of the adults who are observing the children.

On top of that, the worrying evidence against the sugar-myth does not stop there. Sugar has also tested together with placebos:

‘The majority of controlled experimental studies, […] do not support the notion that sugar intake leads to an increase in activity or hyperactivity. Studies comparing a sucrose challenge with a placebo (usually saccharin or aspartame) did not find differences in behaviours such as activity, impulsivity or locomotion […] even when the tests were carried out in children diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder […].’

– Bellisle. F. (2004). Effects of diet on behaviour and cognition in children British Journal of Nutrition, 92, Suppl. 2, S227–S232 p. 2

In view of the questionable behaviour and misjudgements of parents and when compared with a placebo there appears to be no conclusive evidence for a distinct correlation between sugar and hyperactivity.

Nevertheless, it must be noted that a number of studies have shown a relationship between artificial colourings and hyperactivity. However, there is some educated opposition to that view. At least for now, the effect of food colourings remains another controversial issue.

See other: Admin’s Choice Posts