Artificial Food Colors and Additives Increase Hyperactivity in Children

Published: August 13, 2012

In a double-blinded, placebo-controlled, crossover trial involving 297 children, eating artificial food colors and food additives was found to increase hyperactive behavior. Children were given a drink containing sodium benzoate and one of 2 artificial food color mixes or a placebo. Results found that compared with placebo, one mix significantly worsened hyperactivity compared with placebo for both the 3-year olds and the 8-year olds. The second mix was only found to have such an effect in the 8-year old children. These results suggest that consumption of foods containing artificial colors or sodium benzoate increases hyperactive behavior in children.


"Food additives and hyperactive behaviour in 3-year-old and 8/9-year-old children in the community: a randomised, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial," McCann D, Barrett A, et al, Lancet 2007; 370(9598): 1560-7.

Jacob Teitelbaum, MD

is one of the world's leading integrative medical authorities on fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. He is the lead author of eight research studies on their effective treatments, and has published numerous health & wellness books, including the bestseller on fibromyalgia From Fatigued to Fantastic! and The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution. Dr. Teitelbaum is one of the most frequently quoted fibromyalgia experts in the world and appears often as a guest on news and talk shows nationwide including Good Morning America, The Dr. Oz Show, Oprah & Friends, CNN, and Fox News Health.

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