FDA Asking About Food Dye & Hyperactivity

By Arezow Doost, CBS 11 News

ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – Rachel Gamarra carefully picks treats for her children:  no artificial flavoring, no corn syrup and no food colorings.

“The fewer the ingredients the more natural ingredient the better for us,” says Gamarra.

Gamarra’s 9-year-old daughter Elise has ADHD.  When Elise’s diet was changed, the family noticed eating foods without dyes made a dramatic difference.

CBS 11 went grocery shopping with Gamarra and found out just how hard it is to find foods that don’t contain dyes.

From chips to candies, shakes and even juice artificial food coloring can be found in almost everything.  “That’s why I stick to fruits and vegetables,” says the mother of two.

The FDA is now looking into whether food dyes can lead to hyperactivity in children.  “The challenge is that a majority of kid foods are very colorful they contain a lot of preservatives in addition to a lot dyes,” explains Texas Health Harris Methodist Dietitian Amy Goodson.

“When you look at additives the body sees it as a chemical or foreign substance that’s where we get hyperactivity or even allergies.”  Goodson says the less processed foods those without dyes have more vitamins, minerals and fiber.

As for the Gamarra’s going natural, it’s the logical solution for them.  She notices it everyday with her daughter.

The FDA will soon decide if it notices the same thing.  “There’s no hyperactivity there not talking back and there’s not much aggravation,” says Gamarra.

Dietitians say changing your child’s snacks is a start.  You can replace the processed foods with fruit, nuts and low-fat diary.

Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital will be having a “Healthy Snacking Seminar” for kids on Saturday April 2.  It will be at The Brick in Burleson at 2 pm.  You can call 1-877-THR-WELL for more information and to register.


One Comment

  1. jackie says:

    Yes this does make a HUGE difference. I stopped giving treats with dyes and artificial to my 4th child because it would make him hyper and just plain naughty. The change was very noticeable right away. As he got older he knew to refuse red drinks and red treats at school or friends house. The red dye was the biggest culprit.
    Wish i had known for the older 3 kids, that’s for sure. You can find organic fruit strips at target. Also Welchs make a dye artificial free fruit snack, .

  2. TxMom3 says:

    I am allergic to some food dyes and am frustrated that I cannot get vitamins without them! Who cares what color your vitamin pill is? I don’t like the rash that comes with the color! I also have a daughter that cannot tolerate caffine and sugar together. A coke will send her bouncing off the walls! There are things nature never intended us to put in our bodies. Are you listening manufacturers?

  3. G's mom says:

    Ever since my son was a little over a year and eating “real” food we have dealt with him being aggressive and hyperactive. There were days where he would act so sweet and loveable and other days he would act so mean, almost like he was possessed or had multiple personalities. We were very scared for his future. He would hurt kids intentionally.
    We decided to monitor everything in his life, including what he ate & its effect on his system. 2 years later, we eventually found that it was the red dyes in foods that would make him this way! It began in his breakfast cereal!! His favorite cereal was Reese’s Puffs. I thought it might have just been the sugar that was making him this way at first so we switched his cereals. Certain ones had no effect. It was only the cereals with red dye in them that caused an almost immediate change in behavior. We have now found that there is red dye in Reese’s Puffs… why? We have grown so much closer to my little boy since we took the dye out of his diet. There are times that he will forget and eat something with red, like a lollipop for example, and his behavior changes all over again. Poor kid…he tells every little boy he sees that is eating something red that little boys cannot have red! He has accepted it pretty well, but I wish that red dye was not in so many things…. uugghh!

  4. Melissa Stack says:

    Great article to think about when you are feeding your kids and yourself.

  5. Sandra says:

    This is a very important article that everyone should be aware of. Years ago there wasn’t the prevalence of hyperactivity and attention deficit disorders.

    Now if someone would investigate growth hormones used in the meat and poultry business because people didn’t use to be so fat either and it’s not entirely from lack of exercise.

  6. Brendan says:

    Remember when red m m’s were banned? Coincidence?

    Low fat diary? Proofreader?

Comments are closed.

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