Bad Diet Number One Cause of ADHD

By Betty Hooper

Betty Hooper

Betty Hooper

For over 25 years I have collected a massive amount of evidence relating to the treatment of children diagnosed with ADHD, (Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), a condition characterised by excessive hyperactivity, impulsivity and inattention.   The label ADHD was assigned by the American Psychiatric Association in the 1980’s, who following a show of hands, created this new “disease” which they attributed to “a brain dysfunction” which they claimed was not curable, but treatable.

According to a Ministry of Health publication entitled “2001 New Zealand Guidelines for the Assessment and Treatment of ADHD,” pharmacotherapy is superior to alternative treatments and as a general rule, stimulant drugs are the first line of defense, the drugs being Ritalin or Rubifen.    It further claims that “over 70/80% of children exhibit improvement in their symptoms of ADHD while on stimulant medication.”    The evidence I have seen does not support any of these assertions.

Firstly, ADHD is not the result of a brain dysfunction. It is in large part due to a poor diet that contains man-made additives used for artificial coloring and/or preserving. Consequently, the treatment with Ritalin and Rubifen, which can have dreadful side effects, such as drowsiness, hypoglycemia, weight loss, worsening of ADHD, nausea, fever, palpitations, arrhythmia, is not justifiable.    Since the end of World War II, there has been a vast increase in the number of additives in off-the-shelf food items in conjunction with an increase in the number of fast-food outlets selling highly processed food.   According to the ADHD.org.nz website, it is now generally agreed that 2-5% of the school- age population are affected by ADHD.   This suffering is largely avoidable.

When I worked as a teacher with special needs children between 1942 and 1953, I did not see any of the behavior problems that parents and teachers encounter today amongst those said to be suffering from ADHD.

In order to test the hypothesis that ADHD was due to diet, I traveled to Cuba in late-2005.   I selected Cuba as it leads the world in organic

Map of Cuba

Map of Cuba

farming and takeaway outlets are virtually non-existent.   Also, all school children receive a freshly-cooked organic midday meal, plus milk and vitamin tablets if required. When I arrived I stayed with an ordinary family and was lucky enough to find one that was able to introduce me to pediatricians at a university, whom I was able to converse with about the problems we have with hyperactive children here in New Zealand.

Interestingly, they advised that ADHD is virtually unknown in their country and said that while they knew about Ritalin and Rubifen, they had no use for it. On their advice, I visited four Cuban schools and spoke with the principals, all of whom said the children were well behaved. They said they did not have problems with bullying, abuse directed towards the pupils and staff, a fascination with fire, truancy, vandalism or depression – all symptoms of ADHD. In addition, I did not see any youngsters playing up, nor did I see any special needs classes within the ordinary school curriculum, as we have in New Zealand. So if Cuba with its population of about 11,400,000 has a virtually unknown ADHD problem, why with our relatively small population of around 4, 115,000, do we have so many children being pushed up to the psychiatrists’ road and put on Ritalin or Rubifen? What has gone awry?

I strongly suspect that the medical profession has been deliberately misled.  The official literature on ADHD in New Zealand claims that while dietary treatment is popular among many parents and some clinicians, clinical trials have not produced unequivocal evidence that the approach is effective.   This is not true. Dietary treatment has been shown to work in numerous trials and there is a vast body of literature to support this line of attack. For instance, one of the best known advocates of the dietary approach was the late Dr Benjamin Feingold, a Director of Pediatrics at the Kaiser Medical Centre in San Francisco. He Feingolddemonstrated that artificial coloring and flavoring, preservatives and the naturally occurring salicylates in fruit and vegetables could cause hyperactivity. The Feingold diet, which is free of these, is now used successfully worldwide, including in New Zealand, where I have witnessed it benefit children greatly. There is strong scientific evidence to support this approach amongst non-ADHD children also. Last year in the Lancet medical journal it was reported that Jim Stevenson, a psychologist at the University of Southampton, recruited 300 children, aged 3, 8 and 9 years and put differing quantitiescolored drinks of additives and food colour in their juice. The first group drank the usual amount of food with dye that a British child drinks, the second group had half as much, while the third group received no food additives or dye in their juice. Subsequently, Stevenson had parents, teachers and a computer measure the children’s level of hyperactivity and found that the children consuming the drinks with preservatives and dye exhibited significantly higher levels of hyperactivity, [1]. Changes to diet have also been shown to reduce criminal behaviors. Superintendent Peter Bennett from the West Yorkshire Police conducted a trial with nine children who exhibited persistent anti-social, disruptive and/or criminal behaviours who were all found to have a number of food allergies or intolerances and mineral imbalances. These children were put on a restrictive dietary regime and hey presto – all of them improved, both physically and psychologically and the ones who remained on the diet, did not re-offend, [2]. Professor Andrew Kemp, a child allergy specialist of the Westmead Children’s Hospital in Sydney, said in May this year, he believed that removing artificial colours and preservatives from the diets of children with ADHD should be considered a first-line treatment to reduce hyperactivity, [3]. He stated that there is a strong case for trialling elimination of additives in ADHD kids given the evidence, the harmless nature of such intervention and the large numbers of children taking drugs for hyperactivity. What a shame the voice of commonsense is not heard more often. In my opininon, it is high time the entire medical association “looked outside the square” as Professor Kemp suggests and started by experimenting with changes to children’s diets, instead of prescribing harmful, addictive drugs. ADHD is largely manmade and hundreds of children are being unnecessarily medicated, when all they may well need is a healthy, organic diet.

References:

1. Food additives and hyperactive behaviour in 3-year-old and 8/9-year-old children in the community, by McCann D et al., The Lancet – Vol. 370, Iss. 598, 3 Nov 2007, p.1560-1567

2. The Shipley Project, by Bennett CPW et al., J Nutr Envir Med 1998;8(8):77-83.

3. Food preservatives and colours linked to ADHD May 23, 2008 http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,23745957-36398,00.htm

About Clare Swinney

Interested in what is genuinely going on, not in the disinformation promoted as "truth" by the corrupt mainstream media. Please keep an open mind and do your own research. M.Sc. (Hons) from Auckland University. If you came to this site via the 'Silly Beliefs' disinformation website, please read my response to their article at the link: https://chemtrailsnorthnz.wordpress.com/2012/10/20/sillybeliefs-coms-lies-about-chemtrails-geo-engineering-exposed/
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6 Responses to Bad Diet Number One Cause of ADHD

  1. Markey says:

    You are correct in every way! For more info on the Feingold Program, see the website of the support group: http://www.feingold.org

  2. Jeannie says:

    How can you place judgement that EVERY child on the planet that is diagnosed with ADHD has the same exact body chemistry to react to juices with color dye and/or preservatives like the children you witnessed that didn’t show ADHD symptoms any longer? I am 57 years old. That’s right, 57. I was diagnosed with ADD 12 years ago and let me tell you, I never played with fire, I never got into vandalism, I’ve never been a crimnal or anything like that. I suffer from depression and panic disorder. ADHD is hereditary. Kids that are diagnosed with ADHD grow up into ADULTS WITH ADHD. I was prescribed Ritalin for a long time but it ended up not working for the best for me so I got weened off of it. I still have ADD but Ritalin ended up not helping my focus and attention like I and my psychiatrist hoped it would. I am on better prescription medication for to treat my ADD and I am able to focus my attention so much better on things so my daily life is much better to manage. My husband does most of the cooking for both of us and we eat very healthy foods. We eat at McD’s or Golden Corral sometimes but mostly we eat home cooked meals. We also only drink southern style sweet iced tea. We don’t drink any soft drinks. I drink orange juice because I love the taste and it’s Vitamin C. You write like you know all the answers to ADHD in kids but you don’t. I don’t want to sound mean in what I say here…every child diagnosed with ADHD/ADD carries it with them all through their lives. It’s just agravating to me…I’m hoping President Obama will make sure “Mental/Nervous” office visits are covered for ADULTS with AD/HD in his Health Care Reform Bill because my insurance won’t cover my psychiatrists outpatient visits because I am an ADULT who has ADD. It is considered in the Parity Law as NOT biologically-based when, in fact, is IS biologically based. I need insurance coverage for my ADD doctors visits and your article makes me look like all I need to do is drink juices without color dyes and eat organic foods. This is just my opinion and hope I didn’t say anything offensive in what I said.

  3. thanks for that share , really intresting

  4. ALEXIS says:

    TAKE THE SUGAR OUT OF YOUR DIET AND MAYBE YOU WOULDNT HAVE TO LIVE OFF MEDS. IF THEY WORK SO MUCH WHY DO YOU HAVE TO TAKE THEM EVERY DAY. NOBODY IS SUPPOSE TO LIVE ON A DRUG. YOUR BODY IS DIFFERENT THAN OTHER BUT ONLY IN THE WAY THAT DIFFERENT FOODS WILL IRRITATE YOUR SYSTEM THEN OTHER. AND ORANGE JUICE DOES HAVE VITAMIN C BUT IT ALSO HAS A LOT OF PERSERVATIVES IN IT AND SUGAR!! WHY WOULDNT YOU AT LEAST CONSIDER IT. FOR YOUR HEALTH. NOBODY WILL CARE MORE ABOUT YOUR HEALTH THEN YOU. NO DOCTOR THATS FOR SURE. BECAUSE HOW MUCH CAN THEY KNOW ABOUT YOU IN THE 15 MINUTES THAT THEY SEE YOU. AND THE TEN MINUTES IT TAKES THEM TO WRITE OUT A RX.

  5. Jesse says:

    For any skeptics that honestly believe that diet alone can not change your overall health (including mental “diseases”) then I recommend watching a documentary called “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead”. Nutricional studies have shown that with proper diet, (i.e. raw fruits and vegetables, organic foods) you can cure an extreme amount of heatth issues ranging from stomach ulcers, arthritis, mental disorders, and even some types of cancers. YES I SAID SOME TYPES OF CANCERS. If people would just take the time to look up nutricional remedies, they would be blown away at the amount of money they could save from pharmaceuticals and doctor bills. Not to mention no addictions or horrible side effects… Just do some resarch people, the human body has an uncanny ability to cure itself without the use of a foreign substance, (pharmaceuticals) and just relying on a true healthy, well balanced diet…. I am not here to claim that diet will cure everything, but it will definetly cure alot more than we know.

  6. mel says:

    Ppl obviously need to do more research, they trust pharmaceuticals more than what their own body is saying. Its not only a bad diet, but the chemicals we breathe in, and the products we put on our bodies every day (lotion, makeup, ect.) That cause us so much harm. Oh well, get sick, work, pay you doc bill, have crazy side effects, die young. Or take time to know your body, or you kid’s body quit being lazy. Your choice

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