Stevens 2014: Amounts of artificial food colors in commonly consumed beverages and potential behavioral implications for consumption in children


Figure 1. Trends in the amount of artificial food colors manufactured for the US market since 1950 as certified by the FDA for 3 common food colors and the total of all colors. Click to see larger.

Clinical Pediatrics, 2014. Feb; 53(2): 133-40.

The amount of food dyes certified over the years has increased more than 5-fold since 1950 (12 mg/capita/day) to 2012 (68 mg/capita/day).  Studies that used 50 mg or more of food dyes showed a more negative effect on more children than those which used less.

The study reported here is the first to quantify the amounts of food dyes in foods (specifically in beverages) commonly consumed by children in the United States.

Winners in each category with the most dye in a single 8-oz (240 ml) cut were:

  • 34 mg – Faygo Redpop (a carbonated beverage)
  • 52.3 mg – Kool-Aid Burst Cherry (a fruit-flavored beverage)
  • 22.1 mg — Powerade Orange (a sports beverage)
  • 18.8 mg — Full Throttle Red Berry (an energy drink)

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