Food additives linked to hyperactivity in children

June 3, 2004, as reported by New research connects food additives such as colorings and preservatives to behavioral problems in children. According to a new study conducted by British scientists, children who consumed a daily dose of 20 milligrams of food coloring and 45 milligrams of sodium benzoate, a food preservative, were noticeably more hyperactive after the three week trial.

The study published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood was conducted on 277 three-year-olds over four weeks. During the first week, their diet contained no additives. During the next three weeks, food coloring and sodium benzoate were secretly added to the children’s diets.

Parents said additive-consuming children were calmer than usual the first week and the opposite for the following three weeks. The number of children classified as hyperactive fell to 6% from 15% with the change in diet.