Stevens 2014: Amounts of artificial food dyes and added sugars in foods and sweets commonly consumed by children

girl-eating-sherbetClinical Pediatrics, 2014. Feb;53(2):133-40

Numerous foods and candies were purchased from local stores and processed to measure the amount of food dyes actually in them. Several comprehensive tables provide the details, but below is a sample:

Some of the snack “winners” with the most food dyes in mg per serving:

  • Srawberry wafers (24.2 mg)
  • Target Mini Green Cupcakes (55 mg)
  • Betty Crocker’s Red Cupcake (34.7 mg)
  • M&Ms (29.5 mg)
  • Skittles Original (33.3 mg)

Ordinary food items –  not junk food – also often contain significant amounts of food dyes per serving, such as the samples below:

  • Trix (36.4 mg)
  • Fruity Cheerios (31.8 mg)
  • Cap’n Crunch’s Oops All Berries (41.3 mg)
  • Special K Pastry Crisp (10.3 mg)
  • Yoplait Strawberry Kiwi (4.5 mg)
  • Keebler Cheese & Peanut Butter Crackers (14.4 mg)
  • Kraft Creamy French Salad Dressing (5.0 mg)
  • Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, 1 cup prepared (17.6 mg)

QUOTE:  “Artificial food colors (AFCs) are used to color many beverages, foods, and sweets in the United States and throughout the world. … Amounts of AFCs reported here along with the beverage data show that many children could be consuming far more dyes than previously thought. ”

NOTE:  The majority of studies on children assumed they would not be exposed to more than 26 mg food dyes per day; in fact some studies used only 1, 5, or 10 mg per day and it is amazing that even a few of those studies actually did document reactions to the dye.

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