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Artificial Colors in our Food

June 11, 2008

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Have you read this recent article, “Group petitions FDA to ban some food colorings?”The Center for Science in the Public Interest called on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ban eight artificial colorings in food because the additives may cause hyperactivity and behavioral issues in some children. An FDA spokeswoman said that the color additives are tested and reviewed for safety before they are sent to stores. The FDA claims that food coloring cannot be the cause of hyperactivity in kids.

On the other hand, Michael Jacobson,executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest and guest speaker at Integrative Nutrition, says that the reason that food coloring chemicals are added is to cover up the absence of real food and to appeal children. Doesn’t this make perfect sense? Let’s think about some artificially colorful foods that kids love. Cupcakes, Kool-Aid, lollipops and soda. These foods are great eye candy because of the bright colors and fancy packaging. But they don’t have any nutritional value for our children. They are also high in sugar which is directly linked to hyperactivity in children. So maybe it’s not the food coloring that directly affects behavior, but rather the high-sugar in these foods that causes kids to bounce off the walls.

But why have anything artificial? Kids are attracted to bright colors, that’s part of why kids love junk food. Try decorating their plate with colorful organic fruits and veggies. These natural foods are filled with valuable nutrients for our growing kids. How do you decorate your child’s plate?

About the author

Joshua Rosenthal is the Founder and Director of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. He has worked in the nutrition field for more than 25 years, teaching at the school alongside health leaders including Andrew Weil, Deepak Chopra and Barry Sears. At Integrative Nutrition students are trained as Health Coaches, receiving the holistic nutrition education necessary for them go out into the world and help others improve their health and happiness.