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Does Red Dye No. 40 Cause Behavioral Outbursts in Children?

You are what you eat and so the saying goes, but a group of parents believe that the food coloring their children digest affects their behavior. Commonly found in processed foods like Twizzlers, Doritos and Twinkies as well as baked goods, red dye no. 40 is to blame for aggressive outbursts in kids according to some moms and dads. The FDA maintains that the dye is safe for consumption. What's your opinion?

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julie-donaldson julie-donaldson 8 years
I took my six year old son off sugar for about two weeks after it seemed he was acting silly and loud all the time. I really was happy with the results. I bought him some sugar free gummy bears and he was off the wall. He was so hyper I could not believe it. I started tracking what he ate and it was so many dyes in the candy. Why dont they just take the dye out of the food! I now only buy all natural fruit popsickles and such. I think the dye is like poison for our children.
Twistedturtle Twistedturtle 8 years
My son can eat a bagel withOUT red 40 in it and be fine. Same goes for cereal, crackers, soup, canned biscuits and any other food withOUT red 40. If he does use/eat any product WITH red 40 he becomes severely agitated and uncontrollable. He becomes almost violent. It is very scary for us as a family of 5 and especially for him because he knows it isn't his fault. We never buy anything with red 40 in it. He would love a Dorito or a Pillsbury cinnamon roll but it just isn't going to happen. But there are alternatives for these products. You just have to look. For instance some yogurts have red 40 and some don't. No one is going to stop using red 40. Because no one cares.
spirit35 spirit35 8 years
It's quite interesting to me why they get things in Europe and they don't here ,could it be greediness,I don't understand how they could understand it's not good for these kids but America can't.Even now I won't buy any drinks or yogurt with aspartame or sucrlose,it's not good for any age to consume,we think we're doing ourselves better with artificial sweetners but it's actually worse,what is this world coming to...
I would imagine most people do not know what these dyes are made of. The reason why so many kids have trouble with the dyes is because they are made of petroleum. Yes, petroleum. The preservatives BHT, BHA & TBHQ are also made of petroleum. My son was on meds for ADHD for 3 years. I knew he reacted to Red40 years ago. I didn't realize all of the dyes affected his behavior. I too am doing the Feingold Program, and after 6 weeks I was able to take my son off of meds. You wouldn't know he ever needed them. We definitely can't rely on the FDA to do what is best for us. England is banning the dyes due to the effect on kids. Europe is requiring a warning label to be added to foods that contain these dyes that reads "May have adverse effect on attention and activity in children". The US companies like Nestle and McDonald's make a naturally colored version of their food for them and send us the bad stuff because the FDA says it is okay. For now, we just have to choose the right foods for our kids that don't contain these dyes and preservatives. Hopefully one day our country will ban them too.
deeberj deeberj 8 years
Yes, I know that food affects behavior. Artificials affect behavior, and so do some natural foods and some preservatives. But it is difficult to read labels, and labeling loopholes can allow things to not be listed on the label. The Feingold Organization researches foods to find ones that don't have artificials and certain preservatives. Becoming a member gives you access to that info. My son had really awful behavior problems related to food (expelled from school kind of behavior), but once we went on the Feingold diet he has normal behavior. Another poster mentioned Feingold, but it's not that hard to do. Becoming a member of the not-for-profit organization gives you access to a Food Guide of prepared foods that have been researched for artificials, and it even lets you know if the foods have MSG or Corn syrup. There's a members' BB where you can get help, and lots of materials to help you do the program. We've been 8 yrs on it and much happier and healthier because of it.
kristints kristints 8 years
My nephew was found to be allergic to it and after eating it once, he bounced off the walls for hours.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
I am going to say No, I dont believe its the dye. BUT it can however be the kids diet and discipline. If the kid is munching away on junk food 24/7 they will have outbursts.
roxtarchic roxtarchic 8 years
I agree w/foxie's assessment of the fda... just this past week i read an article that they've found melamine in formula & havent pulled the products, stating that the levels are so low it's safe... I think what one child can tolerate, isn't the same as others (like others have mentioned). our children suffer from so many chronic diseases these days.... asthma, diabetes... it's alarming. who's to say these chemicals arent affecting children... the fda? just another reason we try to do all organic (at least as much as we possibly can)...
jkatie jkatie 8 years
blue dye #2 i believe was a bad one for me
spirit35 spirit35 8 years
Wow I have read this,I think it was the Feingold diet or something like that,it's just so hard,everything has so much crap in it.I have been giving my daughter Kids Calm(magnesium)everyday,has helped headaches by the way and fish oil(flavored)and has helped some.I have done alot of research on this,as a matter of fact I am reading "the Truth about Beauty"by Kat James right now about the same thing(very good book by the way).
KAEB06 KAEB06 8 years
totally agree! There is so much crap in todays food it's insane. We put my son on a diet where he doesn't eat processed food or foods with additives (like dyes) and it has done wonders! I think people would be shocked if they looked closely at labels and looked up the items listed to see what they are really eating!
Colleeninator Colleeninator 8 years
I'm with Greggie also. Also, isn't it silly for the FDA to just say that it's fine to eat, and doesn't cause any adverse reactions, when there's obviously a noteworthy amount of people having problems with it? Maybe they should look into it, instead of just going "Oh, no, that's ridiculous".
spirit35 spirit35 8 years
I do agree with Greggie,there are children just like adults that have sensitivities to various things.
Greggie Greggie 8 years
I think if you're sensitive to something, it causes problem. If a child is sensitive to the dye, it's going to affect them. I don't think red dye no. 40 is alone in this. We don't avoid it altogether because my kids don't seem to show a sensitivity to it, but we don't go out of our way to get it either.
spirit35 spirit35 8 years
I do believe some of this,we are getting so far from natural these days,you can't do this and not pay the consequences sooner or later,but some I fear is from a lack discipline and respect,and yes I do speak from personal experience,I tend to be a little lax and I am paying for it now,though don't get me wrong my child is sweet she just knows what she can get away with.
bluepuppybites bluepuppybites 8 years
Our whole family believes this. I had ADHD when I was little and my mom tried all sorts of things before she wanted to put me on medicine. She read that all sorts of things can screw with your body's chemicals; red dye being one of them. Also included was band-aids, and other preservatives. My sister's kids too have behavioral problems and so they are on an all-natural diet as much as possible.
foxie foxie 8 years
I think the connection is a bit tenuous, but it's definitely a possibility. And what the FDA does/does not consider safe really doesn't mean much to me, nor should it for others.
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