Sue Dengate believes diet affects behaviour.
Sue Dengate believes diet affects behaviour.

Junk is making our kids cranky

By EMMA CORNFORD

ecornford@dailyexaminer.com.au

TWENTY years ago, Sue Dengate's daughter was diagnosed by doctors as having 'oppositional definance' ? a term referring to temper tantrums, argumentative nature and general anger.

At a loss as to how to control it, Mrs Denegate took matters into her own hands and started investigating foods she believed to be the problem.

In 1994 she published her first book gleaned from the results of her research ? that the preservatives and chemicals in junk foods, as well as some fruits and vegetables, were causing her daughter's behaviour.

Four books with international acclaim later, Mrs Dengate will head to South Grafton High on August 24 to talk about how food affects chil- dren's behaviour.

"Parents deserve to know that food has changed immensely in the last 30 years and it really can affect children really badly," she said.

"With my daughter there was just no information around and ... it was ridiculous how hard I had to look. But when we did change what the kids were eating they really did change."

Mrs Dengate said colours, preservatives and flavour enhancers, or the 'nasty additives', were the main culprits.

"We've lost the way in the 21st century. I think that the way we've gone is to accept advertising and look at food as fun, rather than nutritious," she said.

"I don't think we're depriving kids of wonderful food to cut out the nasties. Kids are being deprived of happy, healthy lives if they do eat bad food.

"Kids are our future and we need to change the way that we're going."

Tickets are $10, which includes a light supper, and can be purchased at the school, Madden's Newsagency and Newman's Newsagency.



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