Artificial Food Coloring Health Risks
Artificial Food Colouring is very common. It is 0ften found in sweets, popsicles, ice creams and confectionery, to make the products visually attractive to children. They also exist in the food you buy in the grocery stores, in food courts and vending machines. However, in recent years, studies have found artificial food colouring health risks include inducing hyperactivity in kids.
In fact, a joint study conducted by Harvard and Columbia University found that eliminating artificial food colouring reduces hyperactivity in ADHD-prone children. In 2010, The Center for Science in the Public Interest also released a report on artificial food colouring’s links to hyperactivity in children, cancer, and other health problems.
Just last year, the Food and Drug Administration in the US amended its food additive regulations. The agency banned up to seven synthetic flavouring substances.
Countries like the UK and the EU have also put in place safety measures to educate and restrict dyes from children’s diets. In fact, products in the EU with artificial food colouring require to bear a warning notice.
In Singapore however, there is no such warning notice on food items. But according to the Singapore Food Agency, only approved food colourings found in the Fifth Schedule are allowed for consumption. These colourings include red cabbage colour, tartrazine and brilliant blue FCF.
Lucky for us in Singapore, brands adhere to these regulations. Online supermarket RedMart, for one, is taking the lead by ensuring that their Private Label products are free of artificial colouring. Private Label Lead, Nupur Agrawal, recently shared that the local grocer notes the effects of artificial colouring and wants to avoid it as much as possible. Agarwal said RedMart maintains a strict requirement of no artificial colours, flavours and hydrogenated vegetable fat from their suppliers.
Agrawal also emphasized that looks are not everything when it comes to food. For instance, RedMart’s butter chicken
may look slightly more pale than what Singaporeans may be
used to, but that’s because
it does not have any
artificial food colouring and
tastes just as good, if not
Tips To Avoid Artificial Food Colouring
It can be hard as parents to navigate your child’s diet especially since artificial colouring seems to be everywhere. But not to worry, here are some pointers to keep you safe from their adverse effects:
Lastly, just like books, don’t judge an ingredient by its cover, be sure to check the labels carefully for artificial colouring before buying any product. Happy shopping!