A recent study found that a way to improve the behavior of kids who have ADHD is to get them to eat a healthier diet. This advice is not designed to be a primary treatment method for ADHD. Could something as simple as a healthy diet be an effective way to lessen the symptoms of ADHD?
In the 1970′s, Dr. Benjamin Feingold wrote a book called “Why Your Child is Hyperactive”. Dr. Feingold was a pediatrician and an allergist. The diet he described in his book is now commonly referred to as The Feingold Diet. The basic concept of this diet is to avoid eating foods that contain salicylates, artificial colors, artificial flavors, BHA and BHT.
He believed that avoiding those things would prevent hyperactivity in children. Later, people also attribute the avoidance of food dyes with this diet, believing that eating foods that contained those dyes also exacerbated symptoms of hyperactivity in children.
In the news this week, there is a lot of talk about a new study that seems to indicate that eating a healthier diet could improve the behavior of kids who have ADHD. The study was published in the journal called Pediatrics. The researchers, who were doctors from Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago, reviewed some of the previously done controlled, scientific, studies that involved diet.
The results showed conflicting evidence. In some instances, the impact of supplements and restricted diets was no better than a placebo effect. In other words, you cannot cure your child’s ADHD simply by avoiding certain additives or food dyes, or by feeding your child more vegetables.
That news may be hard for some parents to hear. There are a lot of parents who have concerns about exactly what their child’s ADHD medication may be doing to his body. Right now, there is a shortage of certain commonly prescribed ADHD drugs, and parents are looking for alternatives to the medications that they are having great difficulty obtaining for their child.
Researchers recommend that nutritional intervention only be used as secondary approach to treating ADHD. Do not immediately take your child off his medications and start feeding him more broccoli. Instead, they suggest that you should continue to follow what your child’s doctor has prescribed. If anything, eating a healthy diet, and making healthy lifestyle choices, could help with ADHD in the long-term. Parents need to understand that you cannot cure ADHD with food.
Image by Martin Cathrae on Flickr