Dairy doesn't bait kids with bright colors<
bright colored candy

Bright colors attract the attention of children. That's why we see brightly colored toys, vibrantly illustrated books, and vividly animated movies.

The same color philosophy often applies to food marketed to children. Unfortunately, research from the past few decades suggests that artificial food colors may be carcinogenic and/or neurotoxic and could also be connected to attention-related problems in youngsters.

The particularly good news is that dairy, for the most part, has stayed away from this coloring trend and has remained true to its natural, wholesome roots.

New research published in the journal Clinical Pediatrics found that just 12 percent of milk, cheese, and yogurt products marketed to children contained artificial food colors. The only food category of the 20 studied that outperformed dairy was produce. That category contained no artificial coloring.

Another dairy relative, ice cream and ice cream cones, also did well, tallying just 16 percent of children's foods with artificial coloring. Just one other category - canned or packaged pastas and soups, which came in at 19 percent - stayed below the 20 percent threshold.

Which food category had the highest proportion of products containing artificial food colors? Candy, where artificial color was used in 96.3 percent of products.

Candy was followed by fruit-flavored snacks (94.7 percent), drink mixes or powders (89.7 percent), and frozen breakfasts (85.7 percent). In all, close to half (43.2 percent) of the 810 food products in this study marketed to children contained artificial food color.

The study, titled "Prevalence of Artificial Food Colors in Grocery Store Products Marketed to Children," was written by Ameena Batada, University of North Carolina-Asheville, and Michael F. Jacobson, president of the Center for Science in the Public Interest. As was pointed out in the Cheese Market News, limitations for the research included timing (data was collected over a four-month period that included several holidays) and lack of information on amount of coloring in the products and amount consumed.

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(c) Hoard's Dairyman Intel 2016
July 25, 2016
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