Researchers at the University of Southampton in Great Britain have confirmed what many parents have already suspected: some food additives can cause significant behavior changes in children.
Specifically, the recent study examined the effects of artificial food colorings and the preservative sodium benzoate. Researchers concluded that the additives definitely influenced some of the young participants' behavior, causing notable increase in hyperactivity.
Previous studies have suggested that some children with behavioral disorders may benefit from the removal of food additives. However, this study is the first to provide a clear demonstration that food colorings mixed with sodium benzoate can adversely influence children's behavior.
Psychology professor Jim Stevenson, who led the research, warns parents that simply taking additives out of a child's diet isn't going to prevent all hyperactive disorders. "We know that many other influences are at work, but this at least is one a child can avoid."