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Food Additives and Behaviour By Barbara Clark and Jessica Cummins.

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1 Food Additives and Behaviour By Barbara Clark and Jessica Cummins

2 What are food additives? A food additive is any substance not commonly regarded as or used as food. A food additive is any substance not commonly regarded as or used as food. Three Main Types Three Main Types → cosmetics (3, 640) → preservatives (63) → processing aids (91) Presently there are about 3, 794 different additives, totally over 200,000 tonnes per year It is estimated that approximately 75% of the Western Diet is made up of processed foods with the average person consuming 8-10lbs per year.

3 What are Behavioural Disorders? Disorders with a quite diverse symptomatology, which includes; Disorders with a quite diverse symptomatology, which includes; → distractibility → poor tolerance to frustration → temper tantrums → excitability → aggression → difficulties with co-ordination → lability of mood → anxiety → impulsiveness → inattentiveness → disabilities with both cognitive and learning functions

4 The Feingold Hypothesis In 1974, Dr. Ben Feingold hypothesized that children’s behavioural and learning abilities are affected by food additives. In 1974, Dr. Ben Feingold hypothesized that children’s behavioural and learning abilities are affected by food additives. He studied the affects of food additives and naturally occurring salicylates on 1,200 children and concluded that these could induce hyperactivity and other neurophysiological effects on the children observed He studied the affects of food additives and naturally occurring salicylates on 1,200 children and concluded that these could induce hyperactivity and other neurophysiological effects on the children observed Behavioral disorders are a direct manifestation of this sensitivity and as such these behaviors could be controlled simply by removing food additives from the diet. Behavioral disorders are a direct manifestation of this sensitivity and as such these behaviors could be controlled simply by removing food additives from the diet.

5 Hyperactivity/Behavioural Disorders It is estimated that in the USA and Canada 9% of children are diagnosed as hyperactive, the percentage of doctor visits identifying Attention Deficient Disorder (ADHD) children has increased from 1.4% in 1979 to 9.2% in 1996 It is estimated that in the USA and Canada 9% of children are diagnosed as hyperactive, the percentage of doctor visits identifying Attention Deficient Disorder (ADHD) children has increased from 1.4% in 1979 to 9.2% in 1996 In the US prescription rates of drugs such as Ritalin and Prozac have increased even for very young children, in 1994 there were 3000 prescriptions for Prozac for babies under the age of 12 months In the US prescription rates of drugs such as Ritalin and Prozac have increased even for very young children, in 1994 there were 3000 prescriptions for Prozac for babies under the age of 12 months Children who are diagnosed as hyperactive (ADHD) tend to be extremely restless as babies, tend to reject contact or affection. Children who are diagnosed as hyperactive (ADHD) tend to be extremely restless as babies, tend to reject contact or affection. In a school setting they tend to be restless, inattentive, distractible and frequently display aggressive and anti-social tendencies and have a higher rate of drop-out and expulsion In a school setting they tend to be restless, inattentive, distractible and frequently display aggressive and anti-social tendencies and have a higher rate of drop-out and expulsion They have tendencies to become involved in drug and alcohol abuse, a higher rate of motor vehicle accidents and run the risk of developing criminal tendencies They have tendencies to become involved in drug and alcohol abuse, a higher rate of motor vehicle accidents and run the risk of developing criminal tendencies As adults and adolescents they use impulsive rather than reflective approaches to cognitive tasks, are easily distracted, generally emotionally immature, have poor self image and are frequently unable to maintain goals. As adults and adolescents they use impulsive rather than reflective approaches to cognitive tasks, are easily distracted, generally emotionally immature, have poor self image and are frequently unable to maintain goals.

6 Follow up Studies/Evidence In 1983, Scholenthaler et al., studied the effects of a reduction in sugar and food additive on the effects of prisoners. Assault and battery was lowered by 82%, theft 77% and refusal to obey orders 25%, overall rule violations were reduced by 25%. In 1983, Scholenthaler et al., studied the effects of a reduction in sugar and food additive on the effects of prisoners. Assault and battery was lowered by 82%, theft 77% and refusal to obey orders 25%, overall rule violations were reduced by 25%. A study done by Egger et al., in 1985 found that 79% of children tested reacted adversely to artificial food colorants and preservatives, additives produced a marked deterioration in their behaviour A study done by Egger et al., in 1985 found that 79% of children tested reacted adversely to artificial food colorants and preservatives, additives produced a marked deterioration in their behaviour In 1991, Smith et al., attributed 16 adverse effects to the consumption of food additives including hyperactivity and other behavioral disorders In 1991, Smith et al., attributed 16 adverse effects to the consumption of food additives including hyperactivity and other behavioral disorders In 1996 additive containing snack foods were banned from the cafeteria of Wolnwey Junior High in South London, within two years students went from a 23% success rate to 64% in 11 year olds In 1996 additive containing snack foods were banned from the cafeteria of Wolnwey Junior High in South London, within two years students went from a 23% success rate to 64% in 11 year olds

7 Feasibility: Could an additive free diet be obtained? Very difficult to remove all additives from a diet, would require a ban on substances placed into food in the first place Very difficult to remove all additives from a diet, would require a ban on substances placed into food in the first place Food additive reactions themselves are difficult to identify because they are affected by dose, are cumulative and often occur later, not immediately Food additive reactions themselves are difficult to identify because they are affected by dose, are cumulative and often occur later, not immediately The only way to determine food additive sensitivities is through an elimination diet The only way to determine food additive sensitivities is through an elimination diet

8 Foods containing additives Bob the builder treats Bob the builder treats Bubble gum Bubble gum Diet Coke Diet Coke Diet Coke with Lemon Diet Coke with Lemon Diet Dr. Pepper Diet Dr. Pepper Dr. Pepper Dr. Pepper Fanta Orange Fanta Orange Harry Potter treats Harry Potter treats M&Ms M&Ms Pickles Pickles Smarties Smarties Sprite Sprite Wagon Wheels Wagon Wheels Wine Gums Wine Gums Fruit ‘n’ Grain apple cinnamon bars Fruit ‘n’ Grain apple cinnamon bars Fruit ‘n’ Grain strawberry bars Fruit ‘n’ Grain strawberry bars

9 Food for thought The food firm Organix published results from food testing indicating that food additives are present in 78% of children’s desserts, 43% of children’s milkshakes, 93% of candies and 15% of children’s frozen burgers The food firm Organix published results from food testing indicating that food additives are present in 78% of children’s desserts, 43% of children’s milkshakes, 93% of candies and 15% of children’s frozen burgers UK researches suggest that hyperactivity would go down from one child in six to one child in seventeen if problem additives were removed from children’s diets UK researches suggest that hyperactivity would go down from one child in six to one child in seventeen if problem additives were removed from children’s diets

10 Questions? Thanks for listening.

11 References Tuormaa, Tuula E., The Adverse effects of food additives on health FORESIGHT. Tuormaa, Tuula E., The Adverse effects of food additives on health FORESIGHT. Denate, Sue, Food and behavior. Presentation to “Youth at Risk” Conference, Canberra, July Denate, Sue, Food and behavior. Presentation to “Youth at Risk” Conference, Canberra, July 2000.


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