• Project Title: What is the Effect of Food Additives on the Behavior and Activity of Young Children Diagnosed with Hyperactivity Disorders and How is this Regulated in Public Elementary Schools

  • BASIS Advisor: Erin Vander Wall

  • Internship Location: BASIS Independent McLean

Food is important for development, especially in children. By understanding how certain ingredients in an individual’s diet can affect their activity, ability to focus, and behavior, we can have a greater understanding for what kinds of food individuals should avoid or implement into their diets. Children diagnosed with ADHD often have a difficult time focusing in schools, and research shows that artificial food additives can exacerbate this effect. My research will explore the effects of certain food additives, such as Sodium Benzoate, on activity in children, and how this is regulated in elementary public schools. School provided lunches play a major role in how children access foods with artificial food additives and dyes. I will analyze the data produced from research on the link between food additives and hyperactivity in children diagnosed with ADHD. I will then look at the results and determine the strength of the correlation. Then, I will study school lunch regulations in public elementary schools and better understand how the link between the hyperactivity and food additives is monitored.