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Artificial Food Additives Increase Hyperactivity Risk in Children, Study Finds

A study published in The Lancet further solidifies the link between commonly used artificial food colorings and the preservative sodium benzoate and hyperactivity in children. The study’s findings have reignited justified actions by activists on a mission to ban artificial food additives from food who’s target audience is children.

Dr. Jim Stevenson, lead author of the study said “We now have clear evidence that mixtures of certain food colours and benzoate preservative can adversely influence the behaviour of children.”

Conducted out of the University of Southampton in the U.K., the study involved of 153 three-year-olds and 144 children between the ages of eight and nine. Each child was assigned to one of two groups. One group was drinking juice spiked with a cocktail of artificial additives at levels ordinarily found in sweets, beverages, and other common foods including  Sunset Yellow (E110), ponceau 4R (E124), carmoisine (E122), tartazine (E102), quinoline yellow (E104), allura red (E129), and the common preservative sodium benzoate; while the second group drank a placebo juice free of artificial additives.

The children in the group consuming beverages containing the additives were then divided into two subgroups consuming one of two different cocktails — “A” and “B”. Roughly twice the amount of chemicals – approximating a UK child`s average daily intake of food additives – was given to the children in subgroup B.

Following these actions, was an evaluation of the children using what is referred to as a “global hyperactivity aggregate”. This evaluation is based on a computerized test and ratings from teachers and parents. Trained professionals also contributed observations.

After a six week period, the behavior of the three year olds was significantly affected by Mix A although results from Mix B varied. A significant effect on the eight and nine year olds was evident from both mixes, resulting in a measurable and cogent increase in hyperactivity. These findings “lend strong support for the case that food additives exacerbate hyperactive behaviors (inattention, impulsivity, and overactivity) in children at least up to middle childhood,” wrote the authors.

Following the study were warnings to parents asking them to pay close attention to the possible deleterious effects of these type of additives, especially in children exhibiting signs of overactivity from various agencies around the world including Britain`s Food Standards Agency (FSA).

Frank Mangano’s commentary:

Well, while it’s a bit disappointing to learn of these findings (if you hadn’t been convinced already), what is encouraging is the fact that agencies around the world are at least taking action to open the eyes of parents ignorant or uneducated to the fact that they are poisoning their children.

I saw a commercial recently for Sunny Delight which painted a picture of a common household with young children. After running around and playing sports, the child goes to the fridge for a “refreshing” glass of Sunny D. This is like giving your child a tall glass of soda and perhaps even worse. It’s marketed almost as an orange juice but one quick glance at the ingredients list will surely change your mind. Remember, high fructose corn syrup is pure poison.

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