Diet related chronic diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes represent a large portion of the morbidity (disease ) and mortality (death) rates the United States and other westernized cultures. The dictionary defines the Western diet as one high in saturated fats, red meats, ‘empty’ carbohydrates–junk food, and low in fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, seafoods, poultry. Attention deficit hyperactive disorder has also been found to be associated with overeating, obesity and the Western diet. Many times as we evaluate both children and adults for conditions such as ADHD, the question as to whether diet and supplements can help with these conditions always seem to come up. Our experience has been that lifestyle changes such as reducing glycemic load, normalizing the acid/base balance, increasing fiber, evaluating vitamins and minerals as well as addressing fatty acids and supporting adrenal function can be beneficial for these patients. This of course presupposes that the appropriate testing has been done to identify if any of the above factors are an issue for the ADHD patient. When I find information supporting these associations and these types of treatments, I feel compelled to get the word out. Therefore if you are eating a lot of junk food, please make efforts to clean up your diet and that of your children. If the heart disease and diabetes didn’t motivate you I hope that the ADHD will. Below please find to recent articles associating obesity and the Western diet with ADHD.
J Atten Disord.2010 Jul 14. [Epub ahead of print]
ADHD Is Associated With a ‘Western’ Dietary Pattern in Adolescents.
Howard AL, Robinson M, Smith GJ, Ambrosini GL, Piek JP, Oddy WH.
Telethon Institute for Child Health Research.
Objective: To examine the relationship between dietary patterns and ADHD in a population-based cohort of adolescents. Method: The Raine Study is a prospective study following 2,868 live births. At the 14-year follow-up, the authors collected detailed adolescent dietary data, allowing for the determination of major dietary patterns using factor analysis. ADHD diagnoses were recorded according to International Classification of Deiseases, 9th Revision coding conventions. Logistic regression was used to assess the relationship between scores for major dietary pattern and ADHD diagnoses. Results: Data were available for 1,799 adolescents, and a total of 115 adolescents had an ADHD diagnosis. Two major dietary patterns were identified: “Western” and “Healthy.” A higher score for the Western dietary pattern was associated with ADHD diagnosis (odds ratio = 2.21, 95% confidence interval = 1.18, 4.13) after adjusting for known confounding factors from pregnancy to 14 years. ADHD diagnosis was not associated with the “Healthy” dietary pattern. Conclusion: A Western-style diet may be associated with ADHD. (J. of Att. Dis. 2010; XX(X) 1-XX).
PMID: 20631199 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
Curr Psychiatry Rep.2010 Jul 15. [Epub ahead of print]
Attention-deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: Associations with Overeating and Obesity.
York University, 343 Bethune College, 4700 Keele Street, Toronto, Ontario, M3J 1P3, Canada, email@example.com.
In the past decade, we have become increasingly aware of strong associations between overweight/obesity and symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children, adolescents, and adults. This review addresses the prevalence of the comorbidity and discusses some of the mechanisms that could account for their relationship. It is suggested that the inattentive and impulsive behaviors that characterize ADHD could contribute to overeating in our current food environment, with its emphasis on fast food consumption and its many food temptations. It is also proposed-based on the compelling evidence that foods high in fat, sugar, and salt are as addictive as some drugs of abuse-that excessive food consumption could be a form of self-medication. This view conforms with the well-established evidence that drug use and abuse are substantially higher among those with ADHD than among the general population.
PMID: 20632134 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher