Many readers are aware that artificial colors and flavors have the potential to trigger hyperactivity and tic symptoms, and additives have also been linked to a number of other health risks. The Feingold Association has a sobering summary page with a list of health concerns from food dyes in the USA and Europe. The website PreventDisease has an article explaining how artificial flavors are made with hundreds of different chemical compounds. The USA has lagged behind Europe in a move to eliminate these ingredients either through personal choice or by pressuring manufacturers to comply.
A lot of families make an effort to avoid artificial flavors and colors in foods but don’t give much thought to widely used additives that are best avoided. This very common additive has been linked to increased hyperactivity even in the general population and to cancer: