START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x

10 Things You Need to Know About Artificial Food Dyes

10 Things You Need to Know About Artificial Food Dyes

Artificial food dyes are ubiquitous in today’s food system. Yellows No. 5 and 6 lend Kraft mac-and-cheese its golden hue, while Red No. 40 tints McDonald’s strawberry sundaes. A variety of sodas, crackers, candy, cereal, ice cream, and other processed foods sold in the U.S. also contain artificial colors.

At best, the dyes are aesthetic enhancers, lending cosmetic effects but no flavor or nutritional benefit. At worst — and as many real-food advocates claim — they are a public-health menace linked to behavioral problems and other consequences.

Here are the top 10 things you need to know about dyes, as reported by Sheila Mulrooney Eldred in “The Truth About Artificial Food Colorings” (Experience LifeJune 2014):

1. In the United States, the FDA has approved nine artificial food colors, mostly derived from petroleum.

2. In Europe, a warning label has been required since July 2010 on foods that contain certain artificial colors.

3. In the 1970s, pediatric allergist Ben Feingold asserted that hyperactive kids who eliminated artificial flavors and colors from their diets showed a remarkable improvement in behavior.

4. In 2007, the U.K.’s Southampton Study showed for the first time that artificial food colors and additives can affect the behavior of kids who don’t have any proclivities toward ADHD.

5. In 2012, a meta-analysis of 24 studies showed that as many as 33 percent of kids with ADHD may benefit from diets free of artificial-food colors and additives.

6. Some experts say that some children would not develop ADHD if they weren’t consuming artificially colored foods.

7. Animal studies have shown a link between artificial dyes and such health problems as reproductive issues and kidney disease.

8. In 2011, the FDA acknowledged that the dyes may have negative effects on some kids, but since it didn’t find absolute proof that artificial dyes cause hyperactivity, it ruled that companies could continue using the dyes in foods without warning labels.

9. The more whole, nutritious, unprocessed foods you eat, the less likely you are to run into artificial dyes.

10. Avoid anything with terms such as “FD&C Lakes” (a type of dye pigment), “Citrus Red,” or “artificial color.”

Read more: Family, Food, Health

have you shared this story yet?

go ahead, give it a little love

Megan, selected from Experience Life

Experience Life magazine is an award-winning health and fitness publication that aims to empower people to live their best, most authentic lives, and challenges the conventions of hype, gimmicks and superficiality in favor of a discerning, whole-person perspective. Visit experiencelife.com to learn more and to sign up for the Experience Life newsletter, or to subscribe to the print or digital version.

163 comments

+ add your own
3:56AM PDT on Aug 9, 2014

Thank you

12:36AM PDT on Jul 23, 2014

It is no surprise to me that there are so many kids with ADHD. Canadians eat the most Kraft dinner in the world!!
They're either lazy cooks or don't care about the health and well-being of their children!

4:42AM PDT on Jul 7, 2014

I try to avoid them.

4:24AM PDT on Jun 30, 2014

Thanks

4:24AM PDT on Jun 30, 2014

Thanks

4:23AM PDT on Jun 30, 2014

Noted

4:22AM PDT on Jun 30, 2014

Noted

12:21PM PDT on Jun 21, 2014

Thank you :)

5:18PM PDT on Jun 16, 2014

Thank you for sharing

5:18PM PDT on Jun 16, 2014

Thank you for sharing

add your comment



Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

Sex is way too overrated pay attention to other things. More important things.

Jane, It is clear that you have a need to be right for whatever reason. You have not said that you h…

Sarah S no they are not totally safe they have been associated with allergic reactions too. This is …

Regina M: The link you provided is nothing more than conjecture and proves absolutely nothing. As fa…

Story idea? Want to blog? Contact the editors!



Select names from your address book   |   Help
   

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.