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“Western” Diet Doubles Risk Of ADHD Diagnosis In Adolescents

July 14, 2010: 11:28 AM EST
An Australian study has found a link between attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adolescents and the so-called “Western” or junk food diet comprising fast foods, sugary snacks, and processed, fried and refined foods. The study looked at the dietary patterns of 1,800 adolescents from the long-term Raine Study and classified diets into “healthy” or “Western” patterns. ADHD had been diagnosed in 115 of the adolescents. The researchers found that a diet high in Western pattern foods more than doubled the risk of an ADHD diagnosis, compared with a diet low in the Western pattern. As to specific foods, the ADHD diagnosis was linked with a diet of fast foods, processed meats, red meat, high-fat dairy products and candy.
Amber L. Howard, Monique Robinson, Grant J. Smith, Gina L. Ambrosini, Jan P. Piek, Wendy H. Oddy , "ADHD Is Associated With a ‘Western’ Dietary Pattern in Adolescents", Journal of Attention Disorders, July 14, 2010, © Sage Publications
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