Effects Of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurological behavioral problem characterized by inappropriate degrees of impulsiveness, hyperactivity, and attention deficit.1 “It is one of the most common behavioral disorders in children, affecting 3-7% of school-aged children.”2 Children with this disorder often struggle in school due to difficulties focusing, listening, following instructions, and processing information. As the individual grows into adulthood these issues can lead to difficulties in the workplace and in social settings.2

ADHD is thought to be a multifactorial disorder resulting from a combination of factors. There is evidence of genetic factors since biological family
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Since Feingold’s suggestion regarding food additives years ago many other studies have examined the effects of food additives with mixed results. Recently, McCann et. al. used a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled design to test whether intake of artificial colors and food additives affects behavior in 153 3-year olds and 144 8/9 years olds. ADHD symptoms were assessed using the Global hyperactivity aggregate (GHA) which consisted of the abbreviated ADHD rating scale, Weiss-Werry-Peters (WWP) hyperactivity scale, the classroom observation code, and the Conners continuous performance test (CPTII) (for the 8/9 years olds). A registered dietitian using a 24-hour recall assessed baseline intake of food additives. The children were then given a challenge drink containing either one of two artificial food color and additives mixtures (Mix A / Mix B) or a placebo. Mix A consisted of additives used in a similar study, while Mix B was prepared to closely resemble the child’s current intake. Both mixes contained sodium benzoate. At the start of the trial, food additives to be challenged were removed from the child’s regular …show more content…
The effects were more pronounced in the 3-year old children compared to the 8/9 year old group. This study is a well-designed study to add to the literature regarding food additives and their effect on ADHD symptoms. This study does indicate negative effects on artificial colors and food additives on behavior in children with ADHD, however, due to the design it is not possible to identify which additives contribute to these effects.5 Further research needs to be conducted to further determine if a particular additive or additives are at fault, however, reducing the total number of artificial colors and additives may be beneficial in children with ADHD. This can be accomplished following MyPlate guidelines, by decreasing the number of processed foods and consuming a diet rich in whole grains, lean protein, fruits, and

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