By Robert William Locke
Diet and food dye ADHD have been in the news a lot recently. Sugar has just been absolved in a recent debunking of the myth that sugar can cause hyperactivity. However the problem of food dye ADHD remains in that it is well known that kids after eating foods and snacks with lots of bright colours and additives seem to get a 'hyperactive high'. A recent study (published in the medical journal 'The Lancet') shows that some very common food dyes and the preservative sodium benzoate which is found in lots of food that kids eat can lead to increased hyperactivity.
The foods to mainly watch out for are: soda pop, salad dressings and fruit juices. It makes sense anyway (whether you have an ADHD kid or not) to limit these foods for the whole family as this will lead to healthier eating. There is also the fact that especially with girls that they should be accustomed to healthy eating which will help them later on in life. Why ? Although the number of girls who suffer from ADHD is less (1 for every 3 boys), there is a much greater risk that girls will develop eating disorders as ADHD will cause impulsive eating. Girls are overall 10 times more likely than boys to develop an eating disorder.
In the US, no formal warnings have been issued for food dyes ADHD. In Britain, the Food Standards Agency has warned parents to limit the number of food dyes and additives in general if they notice that their consumption leads to behavioural problems such as ADHD.
In the Lancet study organised by the University of Southampton, kids were divided into three groups and given various fruit juices with more or less of additives and food dyes added- eg. Sodium benzoate which is found in lots of kids' drinks. After three weeks, parents and carers were able to measure restlessness, hyperactivity and impulsive behaviour using standardised tests. They had no idea which kids were on the additive free drinks. After the results were assembled it was found that the kids who were on the additive free drinks showed much fewer ADHD symptoms such as fidgeting and interrupting than the kids who were on the additive hyped and food dye drinks.
So, a sensible diet which puts the emphasis on whole foods, fruit and vegetables rather than processed foods is going to produce healthier children (and adults!).There will be no need to worry about food dye ADHD. And what about ADHD medication?
The recent Monitoring the Future Survey found that of the 50,000 students surveyed in the teens classes at high school a high proportion were abusing prescription drugs such as Ritalin (ADHD drug) as well as tranquillizers and cough mixtures. The alarming fact is that 80% of these kids get them from medicine cabinets at home! So why run the risk when you can treat your ADHD child with safe alternative ADHD therapy which will not turn them into potential drug users. The link below will give you lots of information.
Robert Locke writes extensively on ADHD. Discover a safe effective ADHD Alternative Therapy.