Dyes have recently been linked to issues with hyperactivity and ADHD. Rosemary Barclay of Old Lyme, CT recommends minimizing your child’s consumption of potentially harmful dyes, preservatives and additives in foods
The effects of artificial food coloring on behavior in children has been studied for more than 40 years. After reviewing recently published research, Rosemary Barclay, owner and founder of Bonne Santé Wellness Center in Old Lyme, CT, shares her findings on the harmful effects of artificial food coloring on child behavior. These commonly used ingredients are often times not given a second thought by parents, but can have a significant long term negative impact on children with ADHD and hyperactivity. Rosemary Barclay shares her thoughts on the effects of food colorings, dyes and additives and their effects on developing children.
Artificial dyes are added to foods to enhance or maintain their appearance. This could mean brightening existing colors, prevent the loss of colors through elements of transportation and the environment, creating enticing looking beverages, or preserving a products appearance throughout its shelf life. The Food and Drug Administration currently deems nine different artificial colors to be safe but recent concerns have arisen over the use of food colorings and dyes in foods. In 2007, a study conducted in the UK linked the preservative sodium benzoate increased hyperreactivity in children and the European Union required labelling stating that this preservative “may produce an effect on activity and attention in children”.
Two types of artificial food coloring are used, dyes and lakes. Dyes are water-soluble; often found in liquids, granules, or powders. Lakes are not water-soluble; they are found in food products containing fats and oils. Food dye is found in beverages more than any other product, as people often associate a color with a particular flavor. A brightly colored drink can be more appealing and look tastier. Rosemary Barclay urges the general public to stay away from drinks with heavy use of food coloring often found in sodas, sports drinks, and cocktail mixers. These should not be given to children on a daily basis.
Sweets are another hidden source of food coloring, so it might be best to limit that Halloween candy. Rosemary Barclay notes that they can also be found in more unsuspecting sweet sources like cereals, fruit snacks, ice cream, popsicles, icings and even toaster tarts. Try choosing natural breakfast and snack choices like fruit, yogurt, and cottage cheese. Parents should opt for foods that are colored with natural herbs and spices like paprika, tumeric and annatto.
Rosemary Barclay of Old Lyme, CT suggests examining your child’s daily food intake and determine where artificial food coloring can be minimized. Also, research foods that your children like to eat and make substitutions for those foods that contain less food coloring. An example includes swapping GoGurt out for plain yogurt with toppings like honey, smashed fruit, or granola. Completely eliminating artificial food coloring is not an impossible task, buteven minimizing consumption can make a huge difference.
Clearly further research needs to be performed on individual food dyes, preservatives and colorings on the developing brain.To date scientists, consumers and the government have not found conclusive evidence linking dyes to hyperreactivity in children but not enough research has been conducted.
Rosemary Barclay states: “Artificial food coloring needs more research for a definitive conclusion on the effects it has on child development and behavior. However, although limited studies have been done, we have a pretty good idea that artificial food dyes are not nutrients and are not healthy for children and food manufacturers should be required to conduct studies showing safety ”. “These dyes and preservatives may affect a subgroup of children but isn’t the healthier choice just to avoid them altogether?”
About Rosemary Barclay
Rosemary Barclay of Old Lyme, CT believes that nutrition is fundamental to good health, and affects many faucets of well-being including the skin, energy, immunity, mood, and performance. The Bonne Santé Wellness Center in Old Lyme, CT, offers solutions to problematic skin without the use of antibiotics or harsh chemicals.
She earned a bachelor’s degree and a PhD in biochemistry in addition to becoming a board certified nutrition specialist, certified esthetician, and acne specialist. Rosemary Barclay lives in Old Lyme, CT.