The Lancet released a study that found artificial colors and sodium benzoate increase hyperactivity in both 3 year olds, and in 8 and 9 year olds.
The study included 153 3-year-olds and 144 8 and 9-year-olds. The challenge drinks contained one of two artificial food color additives (Mix A, Mix B) and sodium benzoate. Mix A and B were compared with the placebo mix. The outcomes were measured by a global hyperactivity aggregate (GHA), scores based on parent and teacher observations, and for 8 and 9 year olds, a computerized attention test.
Mix A significantly increased hyperactivity among the 3 year olds when compared with placebo, although this was not measured as significant with Mix B. Eight and 9 year old children experienced a significant increase in hyperactive behavior when given Mix A or Mix B.
"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." The Lancet, Vol 370, Issue 9598, Pages 1560 - 1567.
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