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5 Foods Linked to ADHD

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5 Foods Linked to ADHD

Artificial food coloring has long been suspected of  contributing to diagnoses of ADHD, but a new study from Perth’s Telethon Institute for Child Health Research shows an association between ADHD and the broader eating patterns of a ‘Western-style’ diet in some adolescents. The research has just been published online in the international Journal of Attention Disorders.

Leader of Nutrition studies at the Institute, Associate Professor Wendy Oddy, explained that the researchers looked at the dietary patterns of 1800 adolescents from the Raine Study and classified diets into ‘Healthy’ or ‘Western’ patterns. The Raine Study is an ongoing health research project which has followed a large group of mothers and their offspring over the past 18 years.

What researchers found is that a diet high in foods typical of the standard Western diet was associated with more than double the risk of having an ADHD diagnosis, compared with a diet low in the Western pattern–even after adjusting for  other social and family influences.

“We looked at the dietary patterns amongst the adolescents and compared the diet information against whether or not the adolescent had received a diagnosis of ADHD by the age of 14 years. In our study, 115 adolescents had been diagnosed with ADHD, 91 boys and 24 girls.”

A ‘healthy pattern’ is a diet high in fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains and fish–it is generally higher in omega-3 fatty acids, folate and fibre. A ‘Western pattern’ is a diet generally higher in total fat, saturated fat, refined sugar and sodium.

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Melissa Breyer

Melissa Breyer is a writer and editor with a background in sustainable living, specializing in food, science and design. She is the co-author of True Food (National Geographic) and has edited and written for regional and international books and periodicals, including The New York Times Magazine. Melissa lives in Brooklyn, NY.


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9:26AM PDT on Aug 24, 2014

Thank you :)

1:59AM PDT on Aug 6, 2014


9:10PM PDT on Jul 29, 2014

Thank you.

3:55AM PDT on Jul 26, 2014

Ooops, I've already commented on this one...

3:55AM PDT on Jul 26, 2014

not ants

12:51PM PDT on Jun 22, 2014


4:45AM PDT on Jun 9, 2014

Thank you for sharing

4:29AM PDT on May 20, 2014

We anteaters don't get ADHD!

4:28AM PDT on May 20, 2014

Eat ants!

2:23AM PST on Jan 3, 2014

most people underestimate the effect food has on us , children who don't eat a western diet are more focused and relaxed ,many people have undiagnosted food allergies that are causing these symptoms, additives in processed are also known to cause or worsen ADHD / ADD.

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people are talking

Thankyou , Very informative , Will be trying the parsley for sure , Thankyou.....

This link is worth a read:

Thank you for the list. I had not heard of some of the cereals on the list.

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