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Schumacher, I. (2009): Artificial food colours and Hyperactivity. HTA-Projektbericht 034.

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Hyperactive is one part of the attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Several factors as diet, especially artificial food colours, are assumed to contribute to hyperactive behaviour in children since the early 70´s and are still being discussed. Artificial food colours are used to create the bright colours in sweets, lemonade and ice cream as well as cosmetics and drugs. Their effects on human health are verified by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) – nevertheless artificial food colours, especially Azo-dyes are under suspicion to promote hyperactive behaviour. The following report focuses particular on children as the target group.
The aim of this HTA is to find evidence whether there is a correlation between Azo-dyes and hyperactivity in children. The search included 4 Databases. Using inclusion criteria, two systematic reviews and eleven controlled trials could be identified, respectively.
The majority of the studies suggested a correlation between artificial food colours and increased hyperactivity in children. However, the design and methods varied extremely between studies, which complicates the comparison and drawn conclusions. The hypothesis of a correlation can neither be affirmed nor be abolished. Methodological problems such as the inappropriateness of study designs and applied methods need to be tackled. Further research is needed.

Item Type:Project Report
Keywords:Hyperactivity, Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Food Additives, Artificial Food Colours, Azo-Dyes, Tartrazine
Subjects:WB Practice of medicine > WB 400-449 Diet and nutrition
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Series Name:HTA-Projektbericht 034
Deposited on:06 Oct 2009 08:40
Last Modified:15 Jul 2020 17:42

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