Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Food Dye and Behavioral Issues

by Bryan Goodman

There are stories in the media today about the connection between food dye and behavioral issues. We realize some people may have questions about how food dye affects AD/HD symptoms. CHADD’s position on issues similar to this one is best expressed in the What We Know Sheet #6, published by CHADD’s National Resource Center on AD/HD. That fact sheet reads as follows:

Dietary Treatment/ Nutritional Supplements
Having a healthy, balanced diet is key to having a happy and healthy life. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), eating properly can help lower the risk for many chronic diseases, including heart disease. In addition, exercise and physical activity are recommended as part of an overall healthy lifestyle.

For more information on proper nutrition, click here. Dietary guidelines from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) can be found here.

Dietary treatments eliminate - or take out - one or more foods in someone's diet (for example, sugar, candy and food with red dye). The idea is that being sensitive to certain foods can cause symptoms of AD/HD. Careful research, however, has not supported this treatment.

Nutritional supplements and large doses of vitamins add things that some believe are missing in a diet. Some people think diet supplements improve symptoms of AD/HD. Scientists have found no proof of this idea.

You can read this fact sheet in its entirety here. As always, CHADD encourages individuals to consult a medical professional when making decisions about treatment options for AD/HD.

Bryan Goodman is CHADD's director of communications and media relations and the executive editor of Attention magazine.

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