Latest Info on ADHD Could Disappoint a Lot of Moms


candyIt may be easy to blame artificially colored, additive-filled cupcakes, candies, and other brightly hued, sugary treats for the behavior of kids with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) -- who really wants their kids to eat a lot of that stuff anyway? But according to a new report published in the journal Pediatrics, in most cases, eliminating artificial food dyes and other additives from the diets of kids with ADHD probably won't rid them of symptoms. In fact, the "elimination" diets popular with parents of kids with ADHD might be more trouble than they're worth, researchers have concluded.

However, although elimination diets probably won't erase signs of ADHD, giving your kid a healthy diet isn't the worst idea -- and may even prove useful with other treatments, experts say.

Specifically, you should make sure your kid has a steady intake of healthy foods throughout the day -- including especially fish, vegetables, fruits, and low-fat dairy -- and cut back on (though not necessarily eliminate) sugary treats, processed foods, red meat, and dairy that's high in fat. You could also supplement your kid's diet with omega-3s from fish oil. Of course, this isn't terribly different from what's recommended for all kids.

In other words, there is no special magic diet bullet for kids with ADHD. I imagine this must come as both welcome and unwelcome news for families struggling to find a solution for ADHD. Sure, they can stop checking labels quite as vigilantly and let their kid eat a fistful of jellybeans now and then (which means the kids themselves will probably welcome the new research), but on the other hand, the no-easy-fix factor is a pretty big drag. I'm sure there are plenty of families who had hoped adjusting their kid's diet would provide the solution for all their woes.

Really, wouldn't we all like to think that? Many of us spend a lot of time focused on our kids' diets in hopes that healthy eating will provide all the answers and guarantee them good health. At least what we feed them is something we can control! And while a healthy diet can of course do a lot, alas, there's much about the world and our kids' health that's out of our control. In a way, this is one of the toughest lessons of parenthood. And one we parents learn -- sometimes the hard way -- again and again and again.

What do you think of the report finding that changing a child's diet is usually not enough to eliminate symptoms of ADHD?


Image via merfam/Flickr

behavior, food


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Leele... Leelee1008

Yeah I have 2 adhd medicated children, the elimination diet works for some kids, and others not. my boys it does not work. I do limit their sugar intake beacause of course xtra sweets make kids hyped up.

Madel... Madelaine

Good for some kids but not all

MamaB... MamaBear2cubs

I think that what works for some won't work for all.

aneela aneela

everyone is not everyone will react the same way to the same thing...

godde... goddess99

Parents of adhd kids already knew this. This is a huge DUH!!!? this is only informing idiot parents or parents who'd kids don't have adhd.

eye rolling

Kmakk... Kmakksmom

There's no way that ADHD would ever be fully eliminated.

Madel... Madelaine


coppe... copperswifey

They can come out with a million new studies showing that stuff isn't harmful  and there will still be those Mom's who will never believe it. They are going to believe what they want to believe. :)  

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