Howard 2010: ADHD is associated with a “Western” dietary pattern in adolescents

Journal of Attention Disorders,
2011 Jul;15(5):403-11.

Complete data, including diet and ADHD diagnoses, were obtined on 1,172 adolescents (14 year olds) from the Raine Study which had been following children from birth.

The authors noted that the “Western” dietary pattern “may be indicative of a higher consumption of food additives, flavors, or colors that may lead to hyperactivity or changes in neurotransmitter function due to poor mictonutrient intake.”

The authors also suggested that the relationship may be bidirectional, in that children with ADHD may be more likely to choose fat-rich snack foods rather than healthy meals when  hungry.

CONCLUSION:  “We have shown that a Western-style dietary pattern was positively associated with greater odds of having ADHD diagnosis in adolescents.  The clinical relevance of this finding is that the dietary patterns in young people may be implicated in the development of ADHD.”

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