Sodium Benzoate-Rich Beverage Consumption is Associated With Increased Reporting of ADHD Symptoms in College Students: A Pilot Investigation

Bonnie L. Beezhold, Carol Johnston, Kathleen A. Nochta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Sodium benzoate, a common additive in popular beverages, has recently been linked to ADHD. This research examined the relationship between sodium benzoate-rich beverage ingestion and symptoms related to ADHD in college students. Method: College students (N = 475) completed an anonymous survey in class in fall 2010. The survey assessed recent intake of a noninclusive list of sodium benzoate-rich beverages and ADHD-related symptoms using a validated screener. Results: Sodium benzoate-rich beverage intake was significantly associated with ADHD-related symptoms (p =.001), and significance was retained after controlling for covariates. Students scoring ≥4 on the screener (scores that may be consistent with ADHD; n = 67) reported higher intakes (34.9 ± 4.4 servings/month) than the remainder of the sample (16.7 ± 1.1 servings/month). Conclusion: These data suggest that a high intake of sodium benzoate-rich beverages may contribute to ADHD-related symptoms in college students and warrants further investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)236-241
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Attention Disorders
Volume18
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2014

Keywords

  • ADHD
  • beverage consumption
  • college students
  • sodium benzoate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology

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