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Too Much Fat, Sugar Linked to ADHD in Kids

Filed in General | Posted by Brenda Watson on 08/25/2010


You know the old saying, “You are what you eat”? Well, take it from me, it’s true! Just giving your body the right nutrients every day can make a big difference when it comes to staying healthy, and that’s what scientists in Australia are saying after studying more than 1,500 school-age children to see if a diagnosis of ADHD might just be related to what they put on their plates.

ADHD (attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder) is one of the most common childhood disorders diagnosed today, and experts at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tell us that it affects more than 4 million children every year. That means there’s a good chance that you or someone you know has a child with ADHD, so listen up—this is important!

Kids with ADHD tend to be overly active, have behavioral problems, and have a hard time concentrating and paying attention. Unfortunately, the first reaction of a lot of parents and doctors is to put the child on medication, but what if a few simple diet changes could eliminate the need for potentially dangerous prescription drugs?

The Australian study found that kids who consumed a typical ‘Western’ diet—predominantly processed foods with high amounts refined sugar and sodium, as well as high-fat meats and dairy products—had more than double the risk of having ADHD than those who ate a healthier, high-fiber diet rich in fruits and veggies, whole grains and fish.

This is really interesting, since at one time experts thought ADHD was largely genetic. But they’re now looking at the whole picture, and what they’re finding is that things like nutrition might just play a bigger role than they thought when it comes to ADHD. And while more research is needed to better understand the relationship between diet and ADHD, scientists believe the standard Western diet is lacking in essential nutrients—including beneficial Omega-3s from fish—that are needed for healthy brain function.

Food for thought? I think so!