Move Over Sugar, Here Comes Food Dye

Cynthia Dermody

Photo by dbphotos

Sugary snacks can turn even the mildest mannered tot into the Tasmanian Devil. Now, moms may have another food enemy to worry about--food colorings. Think: rainbow sprinkles, kids cereal, and snack crackers. My girlfriend's daughter won't even eat any cereal that doesn't turn the milk blue!

But now researchers in Europe say they've found a link between blue, green, red, orange, and yellow food colorings and hyperactivity, even in kids who don't normally act that way. And England's equivalent to our FDA recently asked food makers there to voluntarily replace products with certain food dyes by 2009.

Scientists here in the States are a little skeptical about the European research, and so far the FDA maintains these food colorings are no cause for concern. But consumer watchdog groups have filed petitions asking the agency to revisit the issue and consider banning eight colorings here.

Meantime, it wouldn't hurt to pay attention to your child's activity level after eating colored foods and consider replacing them with some healthier snacks. How about some of nature's candy, like in the picture above? Fall apples rock.

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