DETROIT (WWJ) – Fast food, soda and ice cream may be American kids’ favorite menu items, but a new study says junk food is probably the worst thing for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

A recent study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics examined the role of dietary methods for treatment of children with ADHD in cases where medication has proven unsatisfactory or unacceptable.

The study suggests dietary changes, such as avoiding foods that are high in fat and sugar, can be effective in managing the disorder

Dr. J. Gordon Millichap of Chicago’s Children’s Memorial Hospital, who authored the study, said switching your child to healthy foods can ease ADHD. He said this is good news for many people who are opposed to taking medication and looking for an alternative.

“In about 20 percent of cases, people don’t want to use medicine. They are very much adverted to the idea of medication and they want something else,” said Millichap.

The study suggests that people with ADHD could benefit from an “elimination diet, also known as a hypoallergenic diet, which avoids foods most often implicated in food allergies and includes a daily dose of Omega−3 supplement.

Millichap adds, however, that the elimination diet is time-consuming and disruptive to the household, and is not the right solution for every case.

Nonetheless, Millichap believes a healthy diet could be one of the most promising and practical complementary or alternative treatment of ADHD.

Comments (2)
  1. Healthy Jones says:

    These kids need to run, jump, play, get involved with activities that move the body, work the muscles and refine the coordination. Pushing digital devices into the hands of kids continues to erode basic human requirements of building strength, stamina, fitness and great health. Add to this a terrible diet of junk food and you get defective humans. But then what do I know? I’ve done it this way throughout my 62.8 years. I don’t get sick, I don’t have health problems. I found a life style method that works without doctors or special trainers.

  2. Jane Hersey says:

    Yes, the article (not study) in Pediatrics noted that giving children healthy food can make a big difference. However, Dr. Millichap’s claim that a diet change is time-consuming and disruptive is not accurate. For 35 years parent volunteers at the nonprofit Feingold Association have been sharing information with other parents and showing them how to make simple changes in their grocery shopping and thus get rid of the most harmful additives. (See Most supermarkets have a huge selection of products without things like petroleum-based dyes. Natural food stores and online options offer lots more, as well as the hard-to-find things like natural gum.
    Modifying your shopping list is not very time-consuming or disruptive, but dealing with a child who is out of control is!

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