Study: Dietary Changes May Help Treat ADHD

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Children make an island scene on their plates out of fruits and vegetables during a class to promote nutrition at an elementary school November 12, 2007 in Berlin, Germany. The project, which urges children to eat five portions of furit or vegetables a day, is sponsored by the European Union. (Credit: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — A new study by researchers at Children’s Memorial Hospital offers a dietary alternative for parents who don’t want their hyperactive children treated with medicine.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports, the research finds that while pediatricians often recommend medication as the first line of treatment for attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, changes in a child’s diet can also be effective.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports

Dr. J. Gordon Millichap of Children’s Memorial says by switching your child to healthy foods, you can ease ADHD.

“Fish and lowfat dairy products, and to avoid diets which seems to promote or exacerbate attention deficit and hyperactivity, and that’s red meats and high-fat dairy products,” Millichap said.

The study comes in the wake of a recent interest in nutritional therapy for ADHD, particularly the use of omega supplements, the significance of iron deficiency, and the avoidance of what the study calls a “Western pattern” diet.

The study points out that a restrictive elimination diet is “time consuming and disruptive to the household,” and is not the right solution for every case, but greater attention to a healthy diet is “perhaps the most promising and practical complementary or alternative treatment of ADHD. “

The study by Millichap and Michelle M. Yee is published in the journal Pediatrics.

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