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What is the research backing the association between ADHD and food dye?

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A 2007 study by the United Kingdom's Food Standards Agency showed that the consumption of foods containing dyes could increase hyperactive behavior in children. Researchers gave a group of 3-, 8- and 9-year-olds three different types of beverages to drink, then had their behavior evaluated by teachers and parents.

Two of the drinks contained the preservative sodium benzoate and different combinations of several artificial food colorings.

The third drink mixture was a placebo and contained no additives.

The researchers found that hyperactive behavior by the 8- and 9-year-olds increased with both the mixtures containing artificial coloring additives. The hyperactive behavior of 3-year-olds increased with the first beverage but not necessarily with the second. They concluded that the results show an adverse effect on behavior after consumption of the food dyes.

From: Food Dye and ADHD WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

FDA: “Food Ingredients and Colors.”

National Institutes of Health: “Hyperactivity and Sugar.”

American Academy of Family Physicians: “ADHD: What Parents Should Know.”

American Psychiatric Association: “ADHD Parents Medication Guide.”

Reviewed by Smitha Bhandari on November 1, 2018

SOURCES:

FDA: “Food Ingredients and Colors.”

National Institutes of Health: “Hyperactivity and Sugar.”

American Academy of Family Physicians: “ADHD: What Parents Should Know.”

American Psychiatric Association: “ADHD Parents Medication Guide.”

Reviewed by Smitha Bhandari on November 1, 2018

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What is in food coloring and where is it used?

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