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FDA Asking About Food Dye & Hyperactivity

By Arezow Doost, CBS 11 News
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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.

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