Food is promoted directly to children through internet, radio and T.V. commercials, magazines, clothing, and toys. In addition, it is also promoted even via product placement in video games and movies. It is estimated that approximately $10 billion annually is the total amount of money that is spent on marketing food to children to actively impact their food choices. In such a way the companies ensure that children choose the extra-sugary cereal with the movie character on the box, or the fruit snacks loaded with artificial preservatives, which have animal shape.
It is fact that the majority of marketing to children functions really well and it mostly includes poor nutritional quality foods, which are potentially harmful to their health.
Unfortunately, a lot of the popular snacks children love do contain artificial coloring that makes the food look more appealing to kids. Moreover, two of the most commonly used food dyes made from petroleum, for improving products like Kool-Aid, Jell-O, Fruit Loops, Nutri-Grain cereal bars, fruit roll-ups, popsicles, cheese, and macaroni are Red 40 and Yellow 5, i.e., tartrazine. Additionally, these dyes have been associated with serious health issues, such as allergic reactions, hyperactivity, and even cancer.
The above mentioned dyes are just two out of six food colorings, which are banned in the UK, but they are still freely used in many products by the U.S. companies. Around 15 million pounds of eight different synthetic dyes are put into food by the U.S. manufacturers every year. Even though it was acknowledged by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that the behavior of some children can be impaired as a result of these food dyes, but it has not done anything to eliminate them from the food supply.
Petroleum-based ingredients are present in these popular children’s snacks:
- Fruit Snacks
Erythrosine or Red 3 is the food color most commonly used in these fruit flavored snacks. It has been banned for cosmetic use as a result of its link with thyroid tumors. If it is unsafe for topical use, how it can be consumed orally?
- Pop Tarts
They include ingredients like high fructose corn syrup, sugar, dextrose, and corn syrup that have been associated with sugar addiction, liver problems, and diabetes in children. Also, they contain TBHQ, i.e., a petroleum-based product, which can result in cellular dysfunction. Furthermore, the laboratory animal studies have shown that it is connected to paralysis, convulsions, liver enlargement, vision loss, and tumors.
They are popular candies that include Blue 1, which can lead to malignant tumor development, Red 40, which can have harmful effects on DNA, Blue 2, which can elevate hyperactivity and contribute to brain tumors, as well as Yellow 5 and 6, which have been associated with cancer development.
- Teddy Grahams
They include TBHQ that has also been found to trigger stomach cancer in lab rats. But, it has also been proven to cause fragment DNA and damage to the human umbilical cells and lungs, whereas it can lead to restlessness, anxiety, and intensify the ADHD symptoms in children.
Yellow 6 is also included in this snack. It is actually derived from petroleum, since is the cheese flavoring that contains includes ethyl methylphenidate and methyl benzoate.
Bear in mind, the constant usage of these artificial dyes in food, particularly in children’s snacks, elevates dangerous and unnecessary health risks, which can be avoided by keeping an eye out for artificial food coloring as well as being health conscious.