Children with (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder )ADHD often have strong sugar cravings, and this has contributed to the belief that sugar and candy consumption can cause hyperactive behavior. Ingredients in nonchocolate candy (sugar, artificial food colors), components in chocolate candy (sugar, artificial food colors in coatings, caffeine), and chocolate itself have been investigated for any adverse effects on behavior. New research has shown that commonly used food dyes, such as Yellow 5, Red 40, and six others, are linked to hyperactivity, impulsivity, learning difficulties, and Attention Deficity Hyperactivity Disorder in many children. The Center for Science in the Public Interest has petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to ban the use of these dyes, many of which are already being phased out in Europe.
Hyperactivity is a general term used to describe behavioural difficulties affecting learning, memory, movement, language, emotional responses and sleep patterns. ADHD is more than just hyperactive behaviour. Research funded by the FSA has suggested that consumption of mixes of certain artificial food colours and the preservative sodium benzoate could be linked to increased hyperactivity in some children.
How to manage it?
If your child shows signs of hyperactivity, or if on the basis of this information you have concerns, you might choose to avoid giving your child food and drinks containing the following artificial colours:
- sunset yellow FCF (E110)
- quinoline yellow (E104)
- carmoisine (E122)
- allura red (E129)
- tartrazine (E102)
- ponceau 4R (E124)
For details: FSA advice to parents on food colours and hyperactivity
* Download FREE 20 page PDF report: "A Parent's Guide to Diet,ADHD & Behaviour"
* Food colours are linked with hyperactivity of your child
* Foods containing artificial food dyes must have warning label in Europe
* Hyperactivity: The Food Additives Argument