ADHD in Kids Improves With 'Healthy Diet,' Elimination Has Little to No Effect

Kim LaCapria

The use of diet to affect or improve ADHD in kids is a semi-controversial approach to treating the condition, but new data released indicates that foods consumed by kids with ADHD may have a significant effect on the need for ADHD medication.

Although doctors advocate balanced diets high in whole grains and vegetables, more complex and involved "elimination" diets such as the Feingold diet are deemed too fussy by doctors while offering little to no benefit in ameliorating the sometimes frustrating and disruptive symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD. Save for some subgroups of such eating plans, researchers found as a whole that diets focusing on eliminating certain additives or ingredients were are "complicated, disruptive to the household, and often impractical" while yielding little effect in ADHD children.

Another aspect to the new research unlikely to take effect in the anti-sugar culture built up around ADHD management is that researchers again found no link to sugar consumption and worsening of ADHD behavior. They observed as much, saying:

"No controlled study or physician counsel is likely to change this perception. Parents will continue to restrict the allowance of candy for their hyperactive child at Halloween in the belief that this will curb the level of exuberant activity, an example of the Hawthorne effect. The specific type of therapy or discipline may be less important than the attention provided by the treatment."