The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

The effects of a double blind, placebo controlled, artificial food colourings and benzoate preservative challenge on hyperactivity in a general population sample of preschool children

The effects of a double blind, placebo controlled, artificial food colourings and benzoate preservative challenge on hyperactivity in a general population sample of preschool children
The effects of a double blind, placebo controlled, artificial food colourings and benzoate preservative challenge on hyperactivity in a general population sample of preschool children
Aims: To determine whether artificial food colourings and a preservative in the diet of 3 year old children in the general population influence hyperactive behaviour.
Methods: A sample of 1873 children were screened in their fourth year for the presence of hyperactivity at baseline (HA), of whom 1246 had skin prick tests to identify atopy (AT). Children were selected to form the following groups: HA/AT, not-HA/AT, HA/not-AT, and not-HA/not-AT (n = 277). After baseline assessment, children were subjected to a diet eliminating artificial colourings and benzoate preservatives for one week; in the subsequent three week within subject double blind crossover study they received, in random order, periods of dietary challenge with a drink containing artificial colourings (20 mg daily) and sodium benzoate (45 mg daily) (active period), or a placebo mixture, supplementary to their diet. Behaviour was assessed by a tester blind to dietary status and by parents’ ratings.
Results: There were significant reductions in hyperactive behaviour during the withdrawal phase. Furthermore, there were significantly greater increases in hyperactive behaviour during the active than the placebo period based on parental reports. These effects were not influenced by the presence or absence of hyperactivity, nor by the presence or absence of atopy. There were no significant differences detected based on objective testing in the clinic.
Conclusions: There is a general adverse effect of artificial food colouring and benzoate preservatives on the behaviour of 3 year old children which is detectable by parents but not by a simple clinic assessment. Subgroups are not made more vulnerable to this effect by their prior levels of hyperactivity or by atopy.
artificial food colouring, benzoate preservatives, hyperactivity, atopy, double blind placebo controlled challenge
0003-9888
506-511
Bateman, B.
ccc3fae6-ae01-42e0-85dc-6862540e722c
Warner, J.O.
c232f1e5-62eb-46e6-8b0c-4836b45b36a5
Hutchinson, E.
023d588f-3bbf-491b-9763-71f638e1fc39
Dean, T.
4a68a12c-bf67-4157-87c9-71e1ea6c94db
Rowlandson, P.
44e05b81-e13d-4e4a-a5f0-4d81837e5fe1
Gant, C.
b6a3b16c-8aa3-496d-bc0d-d1c65feebbaf
Grundy, J.
6a4aac31-2aeb-4f17-9848-9b88dd2f2c74
Fitzgerald, C.
24ba68da-ee3a-4c64-8e0b-e2e8e0f31a3a
Stevenson, J.
0c85d29b-d294-43cb-ab8d-75e4737478e1
Bateman, B.
ccc3fae6-ae01-42e0-85dc-6862540e722c
Warner, J.O.
c232f1e5-62eb-46e6-8b0c-4836b45b36a5
Hutchinson, E.
023d588f-3bbf-491b-9763-71f638e1fc39
Dean, T.
4a68a12c-bf67-4157-87c9-71e1ea6c94db
Rowlandson, P.
44e05b81-e13d-4e4a-a5f0-4d81837e5fe1
Gant, C.
b6a3b16c-8aa3-496d-bc0d-d1c65feebbaf
Grundy, J.
6a4aac31-2aeb-4f17-9848-9b88dd2f2c74
Fitzgerald, C.
24ba68da-ee3a-4c64-8e0b-e2e8e0f31a3a
Stevenson, J.
0c85d29b-d294-43cb-ab8d-75e4737478e1

Bateman, B., Warner, J.O., Hutchinson, E., Dean, T., Rowlandson, P., Gant, C., Grundy, J., Fitzgerald, C. and Stevenson, J. (2004) The effects of a double blind, placebo controlled, artificial food colourings and benzoate preservative challenge on hyperactivity in a general population sample of preschool children. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 89 (6), 506-511. (doi:10.1136/adc.2003.031435).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Aims: To determine whether artificial food colourings and a preservative in the diet of 3 year old children in the general population influence hyperactive behaviour.
Methods: A sample of 1873 children were screened in their fourth year for the presence of hyperactivity at baseline (HA), of whom 1246 had skin prick tests to identify atopy (AT). Children were selected to form the following groups: HA/AT, not-HA/AT, HA/not-AT, and not-HA/not-AT (n = 277). After baseline assessment, children were subjected to a diet eliminating artificial colourings and benzoate preservatives for one week; in the subsequent three week within subject double blind crossover study they received, in random order, periods of dietary challenge with a drink containing artificial colourings (20 mg daily) and sodium benzoate (45 mg daily) (active period), or a placebo mixture, supplementary to their diet. Behaviour was assessed by a tester blind to dietary status and by parents’ ratings.
Results: There were significant reductions in hyperactive behaviour during the withdrawal phase. Furthermore, there were significantly greater increases in hyperactive behaviour during the active than the placebo period based on parental reports. These effects were not influenced by the presence or absence of hyperactivity, nor by the presence or absence of atopy. There were no significant differences detected based on objective testing in the clinic.
Conclusions: There is a general adverse effect of artificial food colouring and benzoate preservatives on the behaviour of 3 year old children which is detectable by parents but not by a simple clinic assessment. Subgroups are not made more vulnerable to this effect by their prior levels of hyperactivity or by atopy.

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

Published date: 2004
Keywords: artificial food colouring, benzoate preservatives, hyperactivity, atopy, double blind placebo controlled challenge

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 18370
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/18370
ISSN: 0003-9888
PURE UUID: 9a278f90-d109-4b33-abdc-0186fab5d46f

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 09 Jan 2006
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 16:36

Export record

Altmetrics

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×