Habitual sugar consumption and behavior following challenge by sugar and
aspartame were studied in 30 preschool boys. The 18 subjects whose parents
considered them sugar reactive had more disruptive behavior problems at
baseline than the other 12 subjects. Habitual sugar consumption correlated
only with duration of aggression against property in alleged responders.
Double-blind crossover challenges with aspartame, saccharin, sucrose, and
glucose produced no significant effect on aggression or observers' ratings
of behavior. Lower actometer counts followed the trials of aspartame, but
the difference was not apparent to observers. It is unlikely that sugar and
aspartame are clinically significant causes of disruptive behavior.