Organic Consumers Association

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Food Additives, Colorings, and Preservatives Linked to Hyperactivity in Children

Common food additives and colorings can increase hyperactive behavior in a broad range of children, a study being released Thursday found.

It was the first time researchers conclusively and scientifically confirmed a link that had long been suspected by many parents. Numerous support groups for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder have for years recommended removing such ingredients from diets, although experts have continued to debate the evidence.

But the new, carefully controlled study shows that some artificial additives increase hyperactivity and decrease attention span in a wide range of children, not just those for whom overactivity has been diagnosed as a learning problem.

The new research, which was financed by Britain's Food Standards Agency and published online by the British medical journal The Lancet, presents regulators with a number of issues: Should foods containing preservatives and artificial colors carry warning labels? Should some additives be prohibited entirely? Should school cafeterias remove foods with additives?

After all, the researchers note that overactivity makes learning more difficult for children...

Full Story: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/06/health/research/06hyper.html

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