A new study has indicated that some food additives can increase hyperactivity in children.

Researchers commissioned by the UK's Food Standards Agency looked at the effects of two combinations of E numbers on the behaviour of children who were prone to hyperactivity.

The scientists took two mixes of artificial food colours and the popular preservative sodium benzoate, which can be found in foods in like soft drinks, confectionary and ice cream, which are popular with children.

They found that the combinations did increase hyperactivity among children and recommended that those who are prone to hyperactivity or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder should eliminate these additives from their diet.

The study added that there are many factors associated with hyperactivity including genetic factors, being born prematurely or environment and upbringing.

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland says it is aware of the study, which covered Sunset Yellow (E110), Tartrazine (E102), Carmoisine (E122), Ponceau 4R (E124), Quinoline Yellow (E104) and Allura Red (E129).

It is also recommending parents to read food labels when buying products for their children.