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Food Dyes and ADHD

Food Dyes and ADHD


Did you know that artificial food dyes are made from petroleum and approved for use by the FDA to enhance the color of processed foods?

That’s right. Sadly, the chemistry and biology behind how most processed foods are strategically engineered to be more colorful and “fun” are anything but good for our brains and bodies.

Many food choices for adults and teens are purposely marketed and showcased to be fun and easy to eat, but unfortunately contain artificial food colorings and preservatives 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 and ADD.

A gentle side note:

Even though there is no shortage of research and arguments that support our lack of attention in this modern age of technological advances, rushed and packed schedules and incessant stream of input from our surroundings, the quality of our foods DO have a tremendous and immediate effect on how we act, think and feel.

This ADHD and ADD labeling is not going away and we, as a society, are not getting to the root of the problem in any hurried manner, so let’s just focus on food dyes for the purposes of this article.

I am sure no one can argue that the consumption of sugar (found everywhere nowadays) 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 (as the labels of ADHD and ADD fly out of the mouths of our educators, parents and health professionals).

This is all probably a culmination of the overindulgence of technological gadgets, too much screen time, information and stimulation overload and those relations 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 a perfect reason to why more than two-thirds of Americans are overweight, hovering on the borderline of obese.

Special Note:

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, read, read every label! Be picky. Stand up for your health and the wellbeing of your family.

Do a revamp of your kitchen, pantry, and fridge. Your family will follow suit and teach them why we should choose foods closest to nature. Try to purchase and eat less processed foods. You may begin to see big differences in your children’s behavior, moods, and attention spans.

Special note from our friends at Cognitune.com:

Adderall and prescription ADHD medications can be highly dangerous if abused. These stimulants have many adverse side effects and are known to be quite harmful to children despite being FDA approved.

Since Adderall abuse has grown to epidemic levels, our research team has compiled an article about the best all-natural alternatives to Adderall.

The committed team at cognitive states that they are trying to draw much-needed awareness to safer and healthier remedies for ADHD.



Resources: sixwise.com, mercola.com, webmd.com, naturalnews.com, cbsnews.com, www.cognitune.com

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