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Saturday 7 February 2004

Food additives and children's behaviour

It has long been known that some food additives (often referred to as "E Numbers" can have a detrimental effect on children's behaviour.

We've never really monitored what our children eat too closely. As long as they eat all their dinner and don't grow up overly fussy, we've been pretty relaxed. However, just recently, James behaviour at home has been a little aggressive. It's highly possible its just a phase he's going through. He's nearly 5 and a lot of boys do that at that age.

A friend at work was experiencing similar problems with her 5 year old son and she was advised to try to monitor the foods he was eating and reduce the amount of food containing additives known to cause hyperactivity, temper tantrums and concentration problems. She says after a couple of weeks she noticed a marked difference. So we might give it a go. There's nothing to lose really.

The worst offenders are Sunset Yellow (E110), Ponceau 4R (E124), Carmosine (E122) and Sodium Benzoate (E211). The food commission have published .the results of a survey of children's food containing these additives.

ukfoodguide.net and parent2parent.au.com have much fuller lists of additives best avoided in children's food.

E Numbers were created to allow the easy identification of food additives. Unfotrtunately food manufacturers have become aware of teh suspiscion of such additivtes and many now don't publish the E Number on the ingrediants list, prefering to use the full name.

February 7, 2004 4:01 PM | Stuff of Interest


we have a 4 year old going to be 5 in april and we noticed that he's been very highper and throws temper tamtrums and says hurtful things,we give our child lots of love and the best that we can give for him, he was born a premmie and we just can't find out why he is acting like this.I do how ever sometimes wounder about the foods that he eats some times he like to eat the sweets but it get very stress full as i work in a daycare all day and michael goes to a daycare (not mine) and i we praise him lots for what he does but i am on my last patience with him and i need some advice thank you nadine

Dear sir,
I am a pupil at St Bede's High School in Blackburn and as part of my year 11 coursework I need to know about children and food aditives. I would be very grateful if you could send me some information about this.
Thank you.
Rachel Davies

kirsten rennie said on May 20, 2005 10:17 AM:

do you have any infomation on additives in childresn ready made meals for 5-11 yr old? for my as level foodtech exam! thanks kirsten rennie wellington school manchester

Stephanie Forbes said on November 9, 2005 10:09 PM:

I don't think anyone appreciates the negative effect of the additives manufactureres put in food these days. You have to be vigilant in the extreme to see these things and can only be really safe by following an organic diet as most of these chemical inclusions cannot be certified. My son is now 7, and after reacting badly following consumption of E120 in a childrens yogurt I decided to ivestigate exactly what was in the food we eat. It is shocking as most manufacturers are happy to ply us with rubbish and we just carry on buying the food because it is cheap. I have been following a chemical free organic diet for over 4 years now and my son is great. People think I am crazy because I check the ingredients before I give him food or accept anything for him. He sleeps better, has very few "hyper" moments and is very well educated in what goes into making his food. All you manufacturers out there should be ashamed of yourselves and it is about time the public started taking action by not buying the food with all the crap in it as a protest to the poisening of our next generation.

Ivan Nannac said on June 27, 2006 12:33 AM:

I am trying to locate a source from which I can get the numbers of all the additives and their common names and what they can do to children (and adults).

I look forwared to what ever you can advise Thank you

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