Are Food Additives Actually Associated With Behavioral Issues Like ADHD?

The discussion over a possible association between food additives and an array of childhood behavioral issues like ADHD, has carried on for many years, fueled by the desire of parents to find a treatment that doesn’t involve powerful drugs. The issue has itself been colored by strong emotional beliefs and weak science.

Although there isn’t any convincing scientific research supporting the idea of an association between ADHD and food coloring, nor that strict diets doing away with dyes effectively treat ADHD, there’s concern about the lack of studies on the general safety of food dyes for children.

Starting in the womb, developing brains are especially sensitive to toxins. It’s necessary to get better information about the amount of these substances children ingest, and also if these levels are harmful.

  • Food coloring is over represented in products made to be attractive to kids
  • FDA doesn’t have specific information on the consumption of food coloring for specific subgroups in the U.S., which includes kids
  • Proper toxicology studies haven’t been performed to determine how these additives affect developing brains at various ages.

In spite of the limited research, the UK along with other European countries have demanded that manufacturers include warning labels, a measure that could discourage using these additives in foods, particularly those meant for kids. In any case, these dyes are strictly aesthetic and could be replaced with natural coloring.

A more thorough scientific review on the effects of food coloring additives on kids is required.

The Truth About Food Additives Infographic

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