A new study published at The Lancelet reveals that unrestricted diet patterns among children are a potent cause of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), reported to effect over five million children in the United States alone.
In an interview with National Public Radio, Dr Lidy Pelsser of the ADHD Research Centre in the Netherlands and lead researcher of the study argues that food is the main cause of ADHD. Upon implementing a diet plan on her respondents diagnosed with ADHD, Dr Pesslerexplains:
“After the diet, they were just normal children with normal behavior. They were no longer more easily distracted, they were no more forgetful, there were no more temper-tantrums.
… This is good news for parents and children who would like to avoid many of the adverse side effects associated with common stimulant drugs like Ritalin used to treat ADHD—and bad news for the pharmaceutical industry. The National Institute of Mental Health reports that common side effects from the drugs are sleeplessness (for which a doctor might also prescribe sleeping pills) headaches and stomachaches, decreased appetite, and a long list of much more frightening (yet rarer) side effects, including feeling helpless, hopeless, or worthless, and new or worsening depression. But Pessler’s study indicates that up to two-thirds or two of the three million children currently medicated for ADHD may not need medication at all. “With all children, we should start with diet research,” Pessler said.