A terrific study led by researcher Dr. Laura Stevens documents the specific amounts of artificial food color and sugars in many popular food products. The authors looked at breakfast foods, frozen foods, dairy foods, baked goods, candy and more. They point out that the cumulative amount typically consumed by children can be far higher than previously thought.
Included in the article are tips for parents on how to avoid all artificial food colors in diets and reduce consumption of added sugars. They encourage reading of all ingredient labels for food, candy and beverages as well as toothpastes, mouthwashes, and medications such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, cough medicine, and children’s vitamins. Ingredients that simply say “added color” should be avoided, and buyers should be aware that even white products sometimes include artificial food color to appear even whiter!
The study authors confirm a statement by Arnold et al in 2013, “Until safety can be better determined, we suggest minimizing children’s exposure to artificial food colors. With the current concerns about childhood obesity, there appears to be no need to make food look more attractive than its natural color.”
Special thanks to Shula Edelkind of the Feingold Association for alerting us to this journal article.