Which Food Additives Impact Childhood Behavior?

Walk down any supermarket aisle loaded with foods aimed at children, and you’ll see a neon rainbow of technicolored products designed to stoke young appetites. For the most part, we consider these foods harmless if nutritionally vacant. But many experts believe the artificial colors and preservatives these products contain are harming children’s health.

Scientists in the U.K., for example, found that children given juice laced with food colorings and the common preservative sodium benzoate were more likely to have trouble concentrating, controlling their tempers, getting to sleep, and restricting the impulse to interrupt others.[1] And the Center for Science in the Public Interest reports that many food colorings are linked to cancer, allergies, and hyperactivity.

Dr. Alan Greene, author of Feeding Baby Green, suggests that families avoid these five types of additives:

.    Artificial Colors – anything that begins with FD&C (e.g. FD&C Blue #1)
.    Chemical Preservatives – Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA), Sodium Nitrate, Sodium Benzoate
.    Artificial Sweeteners – Aspartame, Acesulfame-K, Saccharin
.    Added Sugars –Corn Syrups, Dextrose, etc.
.    Added Salt/Sodium