Peneliti di Inggris melakukan penelitian tersamar berganda untuk menilai apakah bahan pewarna dan aditif dalam makanan mempengaruhi perilaku anak-anak. Subyek penelitian adalah 153 anak berusia 3 tahun dan 144 anak berusia 8-9 tahun. Diberikan minuman yang mengandung natrium benzoate dan bahan aditif atau placebo.
Hasil penelitian menunjukkan bahwa zat aditif meningkatkan bermakna skor global hyperactivity aggregate (GHA) pada anak berusia 3 tahun maupun anak berusia 8-9 tahun.
Kesimpulan: makanan yang mengandung zat pewarna atau natrium benzoate (atau keduanya) dapat mempengaruhi perilaku anak-anak.
Food additives and hyperactive behaviour in 3-year-old and 8/9-year-old children in the community: a randomised, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial,
Donna McCann PhD, Angelina Barrett BSc, Alison Cooper MSc, Debbie Crumpler BSc, Lindy Dalen PhD, Kate Grimshaw MSc, Elizabeth Kitchin BSc, Kris Lok MSc, Lucy Porteous BSc, Emily Prince MSc, Prof Edmund Sonuga-Barke PhD, Prof John O Warner MD and Prof Jim Stevenson PhD. Correspondence to Prof Jim Stevenson firstname.lastname@example.org.
We undertook a randomised, double-blinded, placebo-controlled, crossover trial to test whether intake of artificial food colour and additives (AFCA) affected childhood behaviour.
153 3-year-old and 144 8/9-year-old children were included in the study. The challenge drink contained sodium benzoate and one of two AFCA mixes (A or B) or a placebo mix. The main outcome measure was a global hyperactivity aggregate (GHA), based on aggregated z-scores of observed behaviours and ratings by teachers and parents, plus, for 8/9-year-old children, a computerised test of attention. This clinical trial is registered with Current Controlled Trials (registration number ISRCTN74481308). Analysis was per protocol.
16 3-year-old children and 14 8/9-year-old children did not complete the study, for reasons unrelated to childhood behaviour. Mix A had a significantly adverse effect compared with placebo in GHA for all 3-year-old children (effect size 0·20 [95% CI 0·010·39], p=0·044) but not mix B versus placebo. This result persisted when analysis was restricted to 3-year-old children who consumed more than 85% of juice and had no missing data (0·32 [0·050·60], p=0·02). 8/9-year-old children showed a significantly adverse effect when given mix A (0·12 [0·020·23], p=0·023) or mix B (0·17 [0·070·28], p=0·001) when analysis was restricted to those children consuming at least 85% of drinks with no missing data.
Artificial colours or a sodium benzoate preservative (or both) in the diet result in increased hyperactivity in 3-year-old and 8/9-year-old children in the general population.