In a surprising twist on common sense, the NY Times reports that the British Food Standards Agency just released a study finding that children with diets rich in food additives such as artificial colors and sodium benzoate are more likely to be diagnosed with ADD than other children.
Is this seriously a surprise? And is this seriously a study where it’s even possible to iscolate a cause like that? What about exposure to commercials? Or time spent not exercising? Or whatever one of a million things that make kids today less able to pay attention, less able to stay healthy, and less able to retain information than they used to be, back in the day.
But apparently not everyone agrees that this is common sense. Though the research stated…
“A mix of additives commonly found in children’s foods increases the mean level of hyperactivity… The finding lends strong support for the case that food additives exacerbate hyperactive behaviors (inattention, impulsivity and overactivity) at least into middle childhood.”
Some pediatricians (that’s right, doctors!) are arguing with the significance of the study.
“Even if it shows some increase in hyperactivity, is it clinically significant and does it impact the child’s life?” said Dr. Thomas Spencer, a specialist in Pediatric Psychopharmacology at Massachusetts General Hospital.
How does having attention defecit disorder NOT impact a child’s life? Has this guy met a child, ever? Who was the kid in your elementary school whose underwear SOMEHOW ended up in the middle of the room after recess, who SOMEHOW couldn’t keep his mouth shut and didn’t have any friends because he was such a freak, who SOMEHOW couldn’t stop cutting tiny holes into his ill-fitting sweatpants. Because in my school, it was the kid with severe ADD.
AND, don’t encourage the kids to avoid these processed and packaged foods (which obviously, besides their ADD-causing additives, are usually the healthiest food available, much better than fresh fruits and vegetables or whole grains) because it might make them freaks! And better to follow the crowd to disorders than to buck the trend and preserve your ability to sit in a seat for more than 10 minutes!
… some pediatricians cautioned that a diet without artificial colors and preservatives might cause other problems for children. Dr. Spencer [this guy is clearly a winner] asks, “Is it powerful enough that you want to ostracize your kid? It is very socially impacting if children can’t eat the things that their friends do.”
As Dr. Spencer was giving this interview, he was actually getting massaged by a big-boobed lady wearing nothing but 2 frito-lay bags and a coke bottle covering her privates. Who the shit is this guy working for? The next paragraph notes that he conceded that some children may be “super sensitive” to additives.
A few hundred 3 year olds and 8-9 year olds were given drinks with additives mimicking what’s in commercial drinks, equalling about the equivalent of 1 or 2 servings of candy a day. Another group was given placebos. Over a 6 week period all the kids were evaluated by teachers, parents, and a computer, and (duh!!!)…
…The researchers discovered that children in both age groups were significantly more hyperactive and that they had shorter attention spans if they had consumed the drink containing the additives. The study’s authors noted that other research suggested that the hyperactivity could increase in as little as an hour after artificial additives were consumed.
Fucking DUH! How is this even real??? The follow-up study to this will be, “children denied processed foods for 6 weeks perform better in school, wet the bed less, don’t develop childhood obesity or diabetes.”