Rose 1978: The functional relationship between artificial food colors and hyperactivity.

rose1978Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis 1978 Winter; 11(4):439-46

This was a double-blind study on two girls who had been on the Feingold diet for almost a year. Trained observers watched them in school and reported on the frequency of the following behaviors as they occurred in the subjects’ regular class setting:

  • Out of Seat
  • On Task
  • Aggression

They were challenged with an almost unbelievably small amount of food dye — only 1.2 mg Yellow 5 in each cookie.   Shockingly, there were measurable results:   “(a) the existence of a functional relationship between the ingestion of artificial food colors and an increase in both the duration and frequency of hyperactive behaviors, (b) the absence of a placebo effect, and (c) differential sensitivity of the dependent variables to the challenge effects.”

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