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Pediatrics: Food isn’t medicine enough for AD/HD

Sugar, by the way, was ruled out as a cause of hyperactivity years ago.

If you google “Food is medicine”, you’ll get 242,000 hits. Parents of children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder have long sought a menu-based answer to their kids’ trouble with distractability.   A new study published this month in Pediatrics runs a meta-analysis of multiple studies from recent years on the topic. Authors J. Gordon Millichap, MD, and Michelle M. Yee, CPNP, found changes in children’s meal plans may be helpful – in cases where medication has already failed.

A greater attention to the education of parents and children in a healthy dietary pattern, omitting items shown to predispose to ADHD, is perhaps the most promising and practical complementary or alternative treatment of ADHD.

I’ll bet the researchers wish APA style would let them underline the words “complementary or alternative”. They agree that Omega-3’s are worth further research and that iron and zinc supplements may enhance medication’s effects. Hyperactivity due to food-dye sensitivity isn’t AD/HD, by definition. Unfortunately for parents who are suspicious of the pharmaceutical industry or reluctant to medicate their kids, it doesn’t look as though diet changes will be a magic bullet for hyperactivity or inattention.

@ 2012 Jonathan Miller All Rights Reserved

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