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Are Food Dyes A Cause Of ADHD?

The FDA might soon weigh on on whether or not added food dyes contribute to hyperactivity.

Artificially Colored Cereal

Photo: Hannah Nicole [ Aspire ] (flickr)

Food dyes like the ones in this cereal might increase hyperactivity.

Soon Gatorade, Kraft, Cheetos, Doritos and many other manufacturers that produce artificially-colored foods might be in trouble. A consumer group has petitioned the FDA to take another look at whether or not added synthetic dyes are really safe.

Bouncing Off The Walls

In one 2007 study conducted by the U.K.’s Food Standards Agency, children aged 3, 8 and 9 were given one of three fruit drinks, two of which contained food dyes.

Afterward parents and teachers evaluated their behavior. They found that the 8- and 9-year-olds who drank the artificially colored juices — even those who did not have a previous diagnosis of ADHD — were more hyperactive than the kids who drank the juice without dye.

Safety Vs. Pretty Colors

Color additives like quinoline yellow and ponceau 4R have been deemed safe, but findings like this have prompted the FDA to convene a two-day meeting to discuss dyes.

“For certain susceptible children with ADHD and other problem behaviors, the data suggest their condition may be exacerbated [by certain additives in food including artificial colors],” the report says.

The FDA advisory meeting, which is made up of food scientists, toxicologists, epidemiologists and environmental health specialists, will meet March 30 to weigh in on whether or not food dyes are really safe.

Read More:

  • Does Food Dye make kids hyper? An FDA panel will investigate (TIME)
  • FDA to weigh if food dyes make kids hyper (msnbc)
Katie Dawson

Katie Dawson is a sophomore at IU majoring in journalism and Spanish. Currently she lives in Bloomington, IN but is originally from Indianapolis. She enjoys cooking, eating and sometimes exercising.

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