What Food Additives Cause the Most Reactions in Hyperactive Children? UK Survey of 357 Kids May Have Some Answers


Hyperactivity in children has been on the rise, and many people have long suspected that unnatural ingredients in the food we eat are the biggest culprits.

The best way to avoid these ingredients is of course to avoid packaged and processed convenience foods, but it’s not always easy in America, especially for parents in inner cities.

While artificial ingredients ranging from colors to preservatives and other chemicals (including the often-overlooked GMO ingredients) are rampant in the American food supply, most of Europe and many other areas overseas have adjusted and made major changes, even in processed foods.

So, what are the biggest ingredients parents should avoid feeding their kids to prevent hyperactivity? One particular UK survey of over 350 kids may provide some answers.

Survey Says: Colors, “Excitotoxins” and More

The survey, which was undertaken in 1987, found the following as the top triggers of 357 diagnosed hyperactive children of various ages:

  1. Synthetic colors- 87% reaction rate
  2. Synthetic flavors- 71%
  3. Preservatives- 71%
  4. Chocolate (possibly due to additives including sugar)- 60%
  5. Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)- 59%
  6. Cow’s Milk & Dairy (note: pasteurized is much worse)- 50%
  7. Antioxidants”- 50%
  8. Oranges- 47%
Candies and even oranges and food items with MSG (like fried chicken) are among hyperactivity triggers.

Candies and even oranges and food items with MSG (like fried chicken) are among the top hyperactivity triggers.


What to Make of the Results

According to The Hyperactive Children’s Support Group out of the UK, the results of the survey were largely mirrored in1993 by the Institute of Child Health (at University College London), along with similar surveys in the UK region as detailed on the group’s website.

In addition, a study undertaken by the Food Standards Agency in the UK published in The Lancet also found a definitive link between food additives and behavioral problems such as hyperactivity and allergic reactions.

The results of the study led to calls to remove many artificial additives in food, especially for children, and now major supermarket chains in Britain have done just that, using natural colorings like turmeric and beet juice for example instead of the artificial colorings that are still highly prevalent in American products.


The hope for many parents of kids with hyperactivity issues is that American companies start getting the message as well, but change won’t come until consumers begin reading labels, and rejecting these ingredients en masse the way they have in Europe. 

Have you noticed your kids reacting to these foods or others not on the list? Let us know in the comments below (and don’t forget you can subscribe and get a free eBook by clicking here). 

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Categories: Food Additives, Natural Treatments, and Organic Food.
About Nick Meyer

Nick Meyer is a journalist who's been published in the Detroit Free Press, Dallas Morning News and several other outlets. He founded AltHealthWORKS in 2012 to showcase extraordinary stories of healing and the power of organic living, stories the mainstream media always seemed to miss. Check out Nick's Amazon best-seller 'Dirt Cheap Organic: 101 Tips For Going Organic on a Budget' by clicking here, as well as its sequel Dirt Cheap Weight Loss.