I just received a FDA email about the safety of color additives in food.   What caught my eye was the subheading:  "Without color additives, colas wouldn't be brown, margarine wouldn't be yellow and mint ice cream wouldn't be green."   I  wonder if colorless food could help reduce the obesity epidemic!!!   Seriously, to read the article, click here.



Excellent point of view. Colorless food is something that should be taken into consideration as more and more people trickle into a dangerous diet lifestyle.

Whilst I'm skeptical about just how harmful colourings are, I quite agree with your comment on the real colour of foods going some way towards putting people off eating junk!

Another reason we are so overweight. Natural sugars, whole wheats etc are bleached to make them, supposedly more appetizing to the eye which in turn makes people eat them more than they should.

Some countries have claimed to have made a connection between food colorings and ADHD. Canada, for one, has begun a legal process to make food colorings more restricted to children's foods.

It really is the color that is so appealing. Sometimes the taste, too.

As they say: "It is possible, but it is rare, to have an allergic-type reaction to a color additive.", I suppose there could be various interconnections between coloring fillers and obesity causes.
They should be studied deeper.

If everything were it's actual color it would be a lot less appetizing. And people would have incentive to eat real foods that look like food, rather than colored food-like-objects.

I don't know if taking out the food colorings would impact obesity, since the foods would taste the same, but it would certainly hurt food marketers. I'm all for eating real foods, but I'm not sure that this would work to make people eat real foods.

And further, colors aren't going away any time soon. Unfortunately, it's probably a moot point. Though a great idea!

I used to live in India, and they regularly busted factories for putting non-food grade dyes in their processed foods, especially in the chili powder. It was a competition for the companies to see whose chili powder could be a more vibrant red. The scary part is that much of this was intended for export to the U.S. I do my best to not buy from undeveloped countries for this reason, but still the stores are full of Indian spices, Sri Lankan teas, and Chinese garlic. And no one tests, monitors, or cares.

It certainly would, as you would find grey margarine, coke or mint icecream a lot less appealing. Think about all the food that is colorful by nature: fruit, vegetables, fish, meat... All healthy stuff!

It's amazing how the color of food has an effect on the mind and what we want to eat, I wonder if we would want to eat it as much. Remember crystal pepsi?

I'm just read an article on pregnancy and the harmful effects of aspartame which is the sweetener used in all diet and sugar free drinks. What I found is that aspartame is responsible for either triggering or worsening cancers like lymphoma, leukemia, other illnesses like insomnia, anxiety attacks, seizures, nausea, muscle spasms, depression and here is the big surprise: chronic weight gain! Yet, the FDA approved it in the 80s and its still being consumed by millions around the world because its so highly profitable.

Regarding pregnancy, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition just released a study (june 2010) conducted on about 60,000 Danish women which shows clear links between the consumption of diet soda (which all uses aspartame) and premature delivery in childbirth. In this report, out of the 60,000 women surveyed, only 5 percent experienced premature childbirth. However among the women who consumed one diet soda daily, the premature delivery rate jumped to 38 percent. But the worst was reported among those who were drinking four or more diet drinks a day - a whopping 80 percent of the pregnant women delivered premature babies.

So always do your research before you put things in your mouth, especially when you are pregnant.

According to a new research, the more choices of food you have the more you eat.

They did this experiment where they placed same amount (exactly same sweets) of sweets at a counter of a cafe in two bowls of same size.

The difference was that, one bowl had uni-coloured sweets and the other one had multi-colored sweets.

After the cafe closed, it was observed that the multi colored bowl was all empty while there were still some sweets left in the other bowl which contained uni colored sweets

Thanks for posting the article. Probably wouldn;t have found it on my own. It is funny how so many of our foods, and drinks are artificially colored. but if we didn;t, and were given these foods au natural we would all freak out. LOL.

Thanks again for the article

I think colourless food would be less appetising and would perhaps put you off eating certain unhelthy foods!

this is a very informative article... after reading it, i imagine what if we don't put any color to our food? will it still be the same? well this is another reason that we need to take extra care of our body and health by thinking of the foods that has a natural color like fruits and vegetables....

Hearing about the experiences from the comments in this thread, particularly about 3rd world factories throwing poison into spices, foods, etc. is perhaps the most frightening thing I've read this year.
What the factory owners are missing is that there is a HUGE market in the West for clean products. We aren't so swayed by the deepness of the red in our curry, in other words...

The fact is, there are additives and chemicals in just about everything we eat. If eating a "colorless" diet helps reduce the amount of unnatural, unhealthy junk that goes into my body, I'm all for it. We eat mostly organic anyway, and I definitely notice a difference in how I feel when I stick with it.

Interesting premise. I think if my mint chocolate chip ice cream was grey instead of the enticing mint green, I certainly wouldn't eat as much. See any gourmet restaurant's food prep - we eat with our eyes.

cut back on soft drinks and we will be healthier as whole. ;)

I think all of us eat with there eyes, if coke wasn't brown/black none of us would drink it, even if the label said cola. this is because since birth we are all used to certain foods having certain colors, which doesn't take away the fact that they are probably as unhealthy as living around chernobil.
Just my 2 cents.

I'm not sure whether colorless food would help to reduce the obesity epidemic. But honestly, when I see the black & white picture of the food, I do not have any appetite at all... So I do think colorless food would help people to eat less...

Haaa... You are right though. color is added to our food to make it more appealing. What would happen if margarine was really... Oh, dont want to go there, but nice touch...

Some colorless foods are contributing to the obesity epidemic. Foods such as white rice and white bread contain little or no fiber, so they cause a rapid rise in blood sugar and insulin when eaten. High insulin levels cause the body to store fat.

I think the connection between obesity and food color is the appetite to eat something colorful and tempting. Some of food coloring is not good at all for health.

I agreed with your post. This is a very informative article. Keep up the good work

Very informative post, this was a good idea colorless food could help reduce the obesity epidemic. Many will learn upon reading your article. Keep up the good work. Thanks.

You never know what the color of food could do for a person. Colorless Food could be the Next big thing. It just might me what most people are looking For.
Editor's note: It may become the next fad diet! Eat less because it doesn't look good!

I don't necessarily think that colorless food would prevent obesity but it would be a good step toward a healthier future for all of us. Great thoughtful post.

Clearly, we associate strong colors with strong nutritional value. Considering brain plasticity, we could 'unlearn' this connection and go by taste and the feeling of satisfaction. Numbered color additives would then become less necessary. Just a re-training thought. :-)

Why do we need food color additives to begin with, if a food or drink is something that we like to eat or drink, who cares what color it is.


It seems we move away from natural foods more and more as time passes. What's more naturally colorful than a salad, or a bowl of fresh fruits? And what's really backwards is we pay more for the natural foods!

The obesity epidemic will not be reversed until the broad population is taught eating habits and routines that lead to a healthy life, as well as the importance of leading a physically active lifestyle.

Everything in the world seems to be about marketing. Making it look appealing sells. We need to be smarter in our choices.

Thanks for posting the article. Probably wouldn;t have found it on my own. It is funny how so many of our foods, and drinks are artificially colored. but if we didn;t, and were given these foods au natural we would all freak out. LOL.

Thanks again for the article

This is a powerful diet that you can do for your body. Organic diet is really a very helpful to those who are wanting to lose belly fat!

There's no telling how much toxic junk goes into our bodies each day just from food additives alone. Certainly, food dyes make food more pleasing to the eye, and thus more palatable. But, I wonder if the trade off is worth the health risks. Personally, I'll keep eating organic whenever possible.

What about using natural foods like spinach and spirulina to make mint ice cream green? I use these in my smoothies and they turn the smoothie green just fine!

Thanks for pointing me to this article! I never thought about the coloring used in some of my food choices. The only time I thought of such things was when red dye #40 was suspected on changing the behavior of children. I guess if we all ate fresh non-processed foods, we wouldn't have to worry about food coloring.

Good lord. Who knows what these people are putting in our foods. I'm starting a garden and growing my own food. this stuff is getting scarier as I get older.

I don't believe that just because the FDA says something is safe, it automatically means that its ok to go in our bodies. I myself just try to eat wholesome foods and stay away from processed foods. If you do this, food coloring really isn't an issue.

That's why you should be eating healthy and wholesome foods, you can get your color fix by eating colorful fruits and vegetables. If your worried about it then just dont eat it. You can find so many whole foods out there today that should keep you full enough.

many people live life so fast that they live on processed foods for years not knowing that most things they are are not good for them but they cannot be fussed with cooking or even learning how to cook,no wonder most of the planet is unhealthy.

Interesting premise. I think if my mint chocolate chip ice cream was grey instead of the enticing mint green, I certainly wouldn’t eat as much.

What is interesting is that the caramel coloring found in soda is not natural at all. It's just the result of taking sugar and reacting them with ammonia and sulfites combined with high temperatures. The result is the creation of 2-methylimidazole and 4-methylimidazole. These are chemicals which have been documented and deemed cancerous in mammals by the US government.

I just read an article that seems related to colorless food as a weight loss strategy. It was about a study by researchers at the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY and the University of Vermont, Burlington, VT. The study seems to suggest that eating the same food over and over makes people eat less (dieting by boredom?)The study was called “Long-term habituation to food in obese and non-obese women.”

I wonder what kind of additive is used in soylent green! :-) Actually, we'd probably be a lot healthier in our weight loss goals, and lives in general, if we adopted Britain's rules of using only coloring from natural sources.

EDITOR's COMMENTS: Sounds like Britain is on the right track......but I do worry about the US fast food chains opening there. Are they bound by the same rules for coloring?

Color additives are in some cases carcinogenic. For the sake of things looking a certain way I'd stay away from processed foods with colouring added. Just a thought even though we all know that most things we consume are processed these days - every little bit helps.

WOw...color really affect the appetite of a person imagine eating gray rice, gray apple..ahahah.. i don't think so.. i think if you really want to use this method why not use a eyeglasses that removes all the colors of the food in your table.. and lets see what is the effect :D

More than the consequence of artificial coloring on obesity, I am worried about it's effects on health in general. Does it cause long term health problems such as cancer? I can't help to think that it just can't be good for you.

I have always wondered if there were things in our food that is not good for us...hmmm..

It is very true that colour is a great aspect of how and what we decide to eat. A true example is the curry chicken tikka masala. Many people won't eat it unless it is bright red which is not how it is actually supposed to be. It is full of red food colouring in an effort to make it more appealing.


Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.