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Christian Counseling - ADHD in Children and Food Coloring

For more than 30 years researchers have investigated the link between food additives, such as food coloring, and children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Even though additional research is needed, the current consensus derived from studies is that the additives account for about 10% of ADHD symptoms or the disorder. They report, "diet alone is probably not the driving force behind ADHD symptoms such as inattention, hyperactivity, or impulsive behavior." 1 

It is also reported that radical diets (eliminating processed foods, additives and a number of fruits and vegetables, such as the Feingold diet) is of no benefit to most children. If parents wonder whether or not diet affects their children, then consider the following common sense advice. Reduce the primary sources of additives (candy, soda, junk food, etc.) to see if it results in a positive change in behavior or reduced symptoms. Maintain a sensible, nutritional diet and support your child's involvement in physical activities.

What is your experience in dealing with your child's ADHD and food additives like dyes? Has it been helpful to reduce or eliminate them or not?


1 Miller, Michael Craig, M.D. FDA: No link between food colorings and hyperactivity in most children. Harvard Mental Health Newsletter. July 2011: Vol. 28, No. 1, p. 8.

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