Food additives make children behave badly

Times OnLine (UK) 6 September 2007
Britain’s food watchdog is warning all parents today of a clear link between additives and hyperactive behaviour in children. Research for the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and published in The Lancet has established the “deleterious effects” of taking a mixture of artifical extras that are added to drinks, sweets and processed foods. It has led the FSA to issue the advice to parents who believe their children to be hyperactive that they should cut out foods containing the E numbers analysed in the study.Scientists from the University of Southampton, who carried out research on three-year-old and eight-year-old children, believe that their findings could have a “substantial” impact on the regulation of food additives in Britain. But the FSA has been accused of missing an opportunity to protect children and all consumers by failing to impose a deadline on manufacturers to remove additives such as Sunshine Yellow and Tartrazine from their products.In the biggest study of its kind the researchers recorded the responses of 153 three-year-olds and 144 eight to nine-year-olds to different drinks. None suffered from a hyperactivity disorder. The children drank a mix of additives that reflected the average daily additive intake of a British child. The mixture was not a product currently on sale. After consuming the drinks – a cocktail of controversial E numbers and the preservative sodium benzoate – the children were found to become boisterous and lose concentration. They were unable to play with one toy or complete one task, and they engaged in unusually impulsive behaviour. The older group were unable to complete a 15-minute computer exercise.

http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/families/article2395606.ece?EMC-Bltn 
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