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

Journal of Attention Disorders, 04/30/2012

The data suggest that a high intake of sodium benzoate–rich beverages may contribute to ADHD–related symptoms in college students.


  • 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.


  • 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).

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