Pelsser 2009: A randomised controlled trial into the effects of food on ADHD

hollandEuropean Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. 2009 Jan;18(1):12-9.

In a randomized controlled trial in the Netherlands, 27 children were assigned either to an elimination diet or to a “waiting list” control group for 5 weeks, beginning after a 2-week “baseline” diet during which they ate their normal diet and parents in both groups kept a careful diet diary.

There is no Feingold Foodlist for the Netherlands, and the researchers used a few foods diet consisting of rice, turkey, lamb, vegetables, fruits, margarine, vegetable oil, tea, pear juice and water.

73% of parent ratings and 70% of teacher ratings reported behavioral improvement of 50% or more in the intervention group, while none of the parents or teachers reported any improvement in the control group.   Symptoms of both ADHD and oppositional defiant disorder improved in the diet group, but not in the control group.

QUOTE:   “In conclusion, this study confirms the results of earlier studies that a strictly supervised and restricted elimination diet can affect the behaviour of some children with ADHD …”

NOTE  They used a diet which eliminates milk, wheat, eggs, chicken, and beef as well as additives. This would pick up allergies or intolerance to any of these items. Otherwise, the diet is basically an extreme version of the standard Feingold diet.

NOTE:  It is regrettable that they used a waiting list as the control group, rather than giving them some other sort of diet or sham intervention to avoid possible placebo effects.  Nevertheless, 73% vs 0% is a pretty steep difference.

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1 Response to Pelsser 2009: A randomised controlled trial into the effects of food on ADHD

  1. Pingback: Pelsser 2010:Effects of food on physical and sleep complaints in children with ADHD: a randomised controlled pilot stud | Talking About The Science

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