In today’s society it seems that there is a diagnosis for every way that children behave. It becomes a quick Band-Aid solution to label behavior problems to ADHD or ADD. More children are treated for ADHD or ADD today than have been in the last 20 years and the emphasis on medication to treat behavior problems has begun to run rampant among children. Modern medicine has begun a trend of treating with convenience for ADHD or ADD rather than treating the cause of the symptoms. Perhaps, if we pinpoint certain triggers such as red 40 and yellow 5 food dye, we could eliminate treatment for ADHD or ADD for more children without the use of medication.
There have been numerous studies that conclude environmental triggers tend to be the core of the issue for behavior problems in children. These can include physical, allergens, and probably most controversial nutrition. In recent years there have been connections between certain food additives and behavioral problems that can be translated as ADHA or ADD. Specifically, food dyes are continually being researched and it is being discovered that there may be a direct link between the two. In fact, yellow 5, red 40, and 6 other dyes have been brought to hearing for the FDA to be banned completely. The theory is that dyes can have an adverse effect similar to an allergic reaction on susceptible children. While the reaction isn’t as obvious as most allergic reactions with hives or other food allergy symptoms, what comes from it is a change in behavior. For example, yellow 5 has a tendency to trigger hyperactivity in children and increase restlessness. Red 40, another controversial dye, has been inconclusive on its studies by the FDA but some parents still feel that foods that contain it are triggers for excessive hyperactivity and aggression.
While the FDA states that the evidence to constitute a long term ban on these dyes may be too limited or inconclusive, there have been many success stories by parents that choose to eliminate them from their children’s diets and have shown notable results with treatment for ADHD and ADD. With an influx of products that contain no preservatives and additives (food dye) it is becoming increasingly easier to remove these synthetically produced dyes completely from your children’s daily lives by purchasing organic brands that are more readily available of kids favorite treats. They can still enjoy fruit snacks, yogurts, ice cream, and even candy in some cases that are produced naturally and with no added food dyes.
So the next time you think your child is being out of control or abnormally disruptive think about what they’ve eaten recently. You may just discover that the culprit is not your child, but perhaps the dye in the food they are eating.
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