Southampton University Research Diagram: Description
Three groups of volunteer children were used, but the volunteers did not know which group they belonged to, or which type of drink they were given. All groups were given their drink for one week.
The control group were given drinks with no additives. This meant the researchers would be able to see the normal level of activity for these children.
Group A were given a drink the same as the control group, but with some additives. These were: sunset yellow, tartrazine, carmoisine, ponceau 4R and sodium benzoate.
Group B were given a drink the same as the control group, but with some additives. These were: sunset yellow, quinoline yellow, carmoisine, allura red and sodium benzoate. This mixture of additives is different to group A.
The behaviour of the children was watched by parents and teachers, and they did some computer-based tests. The parents and teachers did not know which type of drink the children had been given.
This is what they found:
In Group A, children aged about 3 were not affected, but there were increased levels of activity in children aged 8 or 9 compared with those in the control group.
In Group B, there were increased levels of activity in 3 year olds compared with the control group, but there was no significant change in children aged 8 or 9.