Patterns of intakes of food additives associated with hyperactivity in Irish children and teenagers

A Connolly, A Hearty, A Nugent, A McKevitt, E Boylan, A Flynn, MJ Gibney

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    31 Citations (Scopus)


    A double-blind randomized intervention study has previously shown that a significant relationship exists between the consumption of various mixes of seven target additives by children and the onset of hyperactive behaviour. The present study set out to ascertain the pattern of intake of two mixes (A and B) of these seven target additives in Irish children and teenagers using the Irish national food consumption databases for children (n = 594) and teenagers (n = 441) and the National Food Ingredient Database. The majority of additive-containing foods consumed by both the children and teenagers contained one of the target additives. No food consumed by either the children or teenagers contained all seven of the target food additives. For each additive intake, estimates for every individual were made assuming that the additive was present at the maximum legal permitted level in those foods identified as containing it. For both groups, mean intakes of the food additives among consumers only were far below the doses used in the previous study on hyperactivity. Intakes at the 97.5th percentile of all food colours fell below the doses used in Mix B, while intakes for four of the six food colours were also below the doses used in Mix A. However, in the case of the preservative sodium benzoate, it exceeded the previously used dose in both children and teenagers. No child or teenager achieved the overall intakes used in the study linking food additives with hyperactivity.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)447-456
    JournalFood Additives and Contaminants
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - Apr 2010


    • exposure
    • exposure assessment
    • risk assessment
    • survey
    • colours
    • processed foods


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