Diatribe: Artificial Dyes In Candy Still Linked To Hyperactivity.
I was always taught that kids shouldn’t have sweets in the evening because it gave them too much energy and they wouldn’t get to sleep. Of course, as a child, that never once kept me from enjoying any and every piece of chocolate that I could get my grubby hands on throughout the day. This was always the time of year that stores stocked their shelves with “fun size” candy bars and “individually wrapped” portions of candies that often were not available to small children and I would make a mental inventory of what it was that I hoped to find in my stash at the end of the month.
Years ago, the medical community determined that it might not only be sugar in candies that give children the extra energy that they exhibit after eating too many sweets. Petroleum-based artificial food dyes are found in everything from cereal, yogurt, and granola bars to candy, chips, and even children’s medicines. Numerous scientific studies have demonstrated that dyes can cause hyperactivity in sensitive children. In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration acknowledges this but has refused to ban dyes or even require a warning notice on labels, as the European Union does for most dyes.
Products with Yellow 5, Red 40, Other Dyes “May Have an Adverse Effect on Activity and Attention in Children”
M&Ms, for example, are already made without most dyes in Europe but they are allowed to be manufactured with cheaper, controversial ingredients in North America. Concerned mother Renee Shutters and the Center for Science in the Public Interest have started a petition to encourage Mars Incorporated, the company that manufactures M&Ms to stop using artificial dyes linked to hyperactivity in their candies.
Removing artificial dyes from a child’s diet may do more to reduce inattentiveness and other attention span deficit symptoms than removing natural sugar. So, this Halloween, we might do well to concentrate more on the type of candy we feed our children than on the quantity.
Do you believe sugar effects a child’s attention span?
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