Diet beats meds for ADHD

Posted on March 21, 2011. Filed under: Health |


Kids diagnosed with ADHD are often given bad meds–but all they really need is some good food.

The mainstream has been sloooooooow to catch on to the idea that a diet packed with processed foods can literally rot a kid’s brain even as it causes his or her belly to swell.

But maybe they’ll take notice now–because yet another study finds that kids saddled with an attention deficit hyperactivity disorder diagnosis show dramatic improvement once those foods are removed from the equation.

In the new study, researchers recruited 100 ADHD children from Belgium and the Netherlands–mostly boys–between the ages of 4 and 8 years old and randomly assigned them to either a severely limited diet, or nothing beyond some advice on healthy eating.

Those in the diet group started out eating mostly rice, meat, vegetables and pears, and drank only water.

After five weeks, kids who got the diet advice showed no change at all–while 78 percent of the kids who stuck to the strict natural diet improved dramatically. The researchers wrote in The Lancet that these kids shed 24 points on the 72-point scale used to measure ADHD symptoms.

That’s more effective than many of the drugs used to treat ADHD–but the benefits didn’t end there.

Half the children had also been diagnosed with “oppositional defiant disorder,” which is basically a lack of respect for parents and other authority figures.

Nearly every kid goes through a phase like that at some point… but the researchers say the “ODD” children on the restrictive diet were less stubborn, had fewer tantrums and showed less provocative behavior.

You could say they were less ODD.

The researchers didn’t mention side effects, but you can bet that children who skip processed foods are far more likely to learn the kinds of good eating habits that can help keep them healthy for a lifetime.

Kids who get meds, on the other hand, could be on drugs for that lifetime–because many of the children who were raised on ADHD meds are now adults who practically depend on them.

And that’s despite the risk of everything from physical problems like headache and nausea to mental ones such as psychosis and bizarre, even suicidal, behavior.

In fact, common ADHD meds are nearly 10 times more likely to be linked to violence than other drugs. (Read more here.)

Wouldn’t it be so much easier to skip the chips instead?

 

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