Health: Hyper Kids? Check Their Diet

Research confirms a long-suspected link between hyperactivity and food additives

White Packert / Getty

Color crazed: Some kids got revved up after consuming the amount of food dye contained in two 2-oz. (57 g) bags of candy — hardly a mega-dose.

Parents have long observed that some kids go bonkers after eating foods with a lot of artificial ingredients or neon-bright colors. Medical researchers--not to mention the food industry--have been skeptical; there was no proof of this effect, at least nothing like a double-blind, controlled study.

As so often happens, however, the parents turned out to be a step ahead of the pros. A carefully designed study published in the British journal the Lancet shows that a variety of common food dyes and the preservative sodium benzoate--an ingredient in many soft drinks, fruit juices and salad dressings--do cause some kids to become...

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