ADHD and Sugar Research Note
By Reader's Digest Editors
A brief digest about this topic
Sugar has long been suspected to be a culprit behind ADHD symptoms. But research has yet to validate the connection. In at least two studies, children who were given sugar or a sugar substitute behaved no differently in terms of ADHD symptoms. Interestingly, in another study, all the children were given sugar substitutes—but half the mothers were told their kids were getting real sugar. These moms rated their children's behavior as more hyperactive, and were more critical of their kids' behavior, than mothers who were told their kids were getting fake sugar. In a British study, children who ate a "junk food" diet at age 4 1/2 were more likely to have behavioral problems at age 7 than kids whose diets were healthier.Fast Facts:
- Scientists aren't sure what causes ADHD.
- Studies are currently looking at environmental factors, including how nutrition, brain injuries, the environment, and childrens' social worlds affects them.
- There's no research to show that sugar has any effect on ADHD symptoms.
- It's possible that children with ADHD are sensitive to food additives and coloring but not to sugar, since most sugary foods also contain these artificial ingredients.
- Some children will outgrow their ADHD symptoms.
healthcentral.com — “ The popularity of diet to correct behavioral problems began with the Feingold Diet. This diet eliminated many food products, including food additives. Acc...” View full resource at healthcentral.com
everydayhealth.com — “Some think that AD/HD affects only boys, kids who eat sugar, or school-age children. Get the facts behind the 10 biggest myths about ADHD at EverydayHealth.com.” View full resource at everydayhealth.com
ADHD and Diet: Cutting Back on Sugar to Treat Symptoms in Children | ADDitude - ADHD & LD Adults and Children
additudemag.com — “Changes in diet, like cutting back on snacks with sugar, could bring out the sweeter side this holiday season in your child with attention deficit disorder (ADD ADHD). ADHD symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment information for adults and children from experts in attention deficit and learning disabilities like dyslexia. How to manage ADD medications, set up school accommodations for your child, help your marriage to an ADD/ADHD adult parent children with discipline problems, use alternative treatme” View full resource at additudemag.com
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