The discussion of a possible link between food additives and a number of behavioral problems in children like ADHD has been going on for many years, fueled by parents’ desire to find treatment that does not include strong medication. The topic itself was shaped by strong emotional beliefs and weak science.
While there is no convincing scientific research to support the idea of a link between ADHD and food coloring, and also that strict diets that eliminate dyes effectively treat ADHD, there are concerns about the lack of studies on the general safety of food dyes for children .
The developing brain begins in the womb and is particularly sensitive to toxins. It is necessary to get better information about the amount of these substances that children ingest and also whether these amounts are harmful.
- Food colors are over-represented in products that are attractive to children
- The FDA does not have specific food coloring information for certain subgroups in the U.S., including children
- No suitable toxicological studies have been done to determine how these additives affect brain development at different ages.
Despite limited research, the UK and other European countries have asked manufacturers to include warnings, a measure that could prevent the use of these additives in food, especially for children. In any case, these dyes are strictly aesthetic and could be replaced by natural dyes.
A more thorough scientific review of the effects of food coloring additives on children is needed.
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