Artificial food dyes are made from petroleum and approved for use by the FDA
to enhance the color of processed foods. Many food choices for adults and
especially marketed and showcased to children contain artificial food coloring
that can have negative effects upon little people’s behavior, impulse control,
attention, ability to focus, learning, thinking, and energy level. Children are
particularly susceptible to the effects of food dyes, especially those with ADHD
Certainly, the consumption of sugar has the effect of 'juicing' a kid's system, but the food dyes in the pile of daily sweets are more likely the primary culprit! It should come to no surprise that countless kids are taking ADD or ADHD medications. This may be due to the over indulgence of technological gadgets, too much screen time, information and stimulation overload or it may have a huge relation to the type and amount of food dye being consumed!
While food additives and colorings have been around for decades and are found in everything from pudding to potato chips to soft drinks, it is growing mountain of recent studies linking food coloring to hyperactivity in kids that is creating waves from angry parents, urging the FDA to ban foods containing them — or at least require a warning label.
Artificial food dyes might be an easy target for elimination because they aren't essential to food. In fact, food dyes are added simply for their color to make foods fun. They serve no health purpose whatsoever. The most dangerous of
the bunch is Red No. 40, Yellow No. 5 and Yellow No. 6, which make up 90 percent of the food dyes on the market. Studies have linked these top dyes to impaired brain function, hyperactive behavior, difficulty focusing, lack of impulse
control in children. What is most scary is that the use of these food dyes and artificial additives have gone up fivefold in the past 50 years, giving a great indication of how much junk food people are consuming. This gives perfect reason
to why more than two thirds of Americans are overweight, hovering on the borderline of obese.
Red No. 40 is the most widely used food dye in terms of pounds consumed, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest. It is found in cereal, gelatin, candy, baked goods.
Yellow No. 5 is the second most widely used food dye, according to CSPI. It is found in soft drinks, pudding, chips, pickles, honey, mustard, gum, baked goods, gelatin and other foods.
Yellow No. 6 is the third most widely used food dye. It is found in cereal, orange soda and other beverages, hot chocolate mix, baked goods and many other foods.
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder affects 3 percent to 5 percent of U.S. children, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Symptoms include fidgeting, excessive talking and abandoning chores and
homework. The condition is usually diagnosed in childhood and can continue as an adult.
Sadly, the FDA, after analyzing 35 years of scientific studies regarding positive correlation between children’s consumption of food dyes and ADD and ADHD, they claim there is no conclusive proof that food dyes cause hyperactivity
in most kids, (although it suggests that some kids with ADHD may be particularly sensitive to them). The FDA stepped forward to say that, “there is also bodies of literature that does suggest that food colorings are not as benign as people
have been led to believe." This is concerning to me, as the FDA should listen to the concerns of the public and at the very least, list whether or not food items meant for consumption, are produced with artificial food dyes or coloring. This
action should be taken regardless of what the FDA claims to be inconclusively not harmful to children and not a factor on their behaviors.
As a parent, if you are concerned about artificial food coloring, dyes or flavors, there is no harm in cutting out food dyes as best as you can. A good key in removing the dyes is to understand that food coloring is most likely not going to be found in fresh broccoli or other fresh fruits and vegetables (may be found in frozen or canned vegetables). They are going to be found in processed foods, candies, ice creams and other concentrated sweets. Read labels and be
picky when it comes to the health of your family. Try to purchase and eat less processed foods. You may begin to see big differences in your children’s behavior, moods and attention spans.
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