Pediatric Study: ‘Healthy’ Diet Best for ADHD Kids

Fast foods, sodas, and ice cream may be American kids’ favorite menu items, but they’re also probably the worst for those with attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a new literature review suggests.

According to two researchers from Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago, a relatively simple diet low in fats and high in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables is one of the best alternatives to drug therapy for ADHD. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid supplements have also been shown to help in some controlled studies, they noted.

This state-of-the-art review suggests dietary interventions for children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) if:

  1. medications are ineffective,
  2. parents or children wish to try dietary approaches, or
  3. mineral deficiencies were present.

Diets to reduce symptoms associated with ADHD include sugar-restricted, additive/preservative-free, oligoantigenic/elimination, and fatty acid supplements.

The authors write, “In practice, additive-free and oligoantigenic/elimination diets are time-consuming and disruptive to the household; they are indicated only in selected patients.”

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