In a recent editorial in the e-zine, Circle of Moms, a blogger-mom “Susan” talks about how she believes artificial food additives, particularly those derived from petroleum, were largely responsible for her daughter Sophie’s behavioral issues. “Her hands or feet were in constant motion,” says the author, “Later we noticed she had trouble following simple instructions. Her mind just bounced to the next thing before we could even finish a sentence. She never stopped talking - from sun up to sun down there was constant chatter.”
Susan goes on to describe how after doing some research, she “made some pretty unsettling discoveries about the food I’ve been buying. I learned what those weird words in the list of ingredients really mean, and most of them mean the same thing – petroleum.” At that point, she decided to remove everything from her kitchen that contained petroleum as an ingredient.
“Within 36 hours,” she says, “My daughter sat at the table and ate her dinner. She didn't stand on her chair, she didn't crawl under her chair, and she didn't run circles around the table or wander into the living room because something caught her attention.”
Is there really a connection between petroleum-based food additives and Attention Deficit Disorder? A 2004 study published in the journal Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics concluded that food dyes (many of which are petroleum-based) can contribute to hyperactivity disorders in “sensitive” children. This study, along with two others, helped lead Britain's Food Standards Agency to recommend a ban on six artificial dyes. The European Union's food safety agency, however has dismissed the studies as too broad to draw any solid conclusions about the safety of food dyes, and a U.S. industry group, The Grocery Manufacturers of America, has agreed with this conclusion.
More information about these studies can be found here: http://children.webmd.com/news/20070906/food-additives-may-make-kids-hyper.