Team McCallum

R&D for Lifetime of Life

Western diet v ADHD.

Dr Wendy J Oddy has found that Australian teenagers eating a Western diet have more than double the risk of ADHD compared to those eating a healthy diet.

The study looked at 1,800 14 year olds, who have been followed since birth as part of a long term study called the Raine Study.

The diagnosis of ADHD was reached using the International Classification of Diseases revision 9 definition, the standard used in Australia (and the UK). The US uses DSM-IV, which is reckoned to produce a diagnosis rate about 3 to 4 times more often.

A “healthy” pattern is a diet high in fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains and fish. It tends to be higher in omega-3 fatty acids, folate and fibre. A “Western” diet has more takeaway foods, confectionary, processed, fried and refined foods. This is higher in total fat, saturated fat, refined sugar and sodium.

An ADHD diagnosis was associated with a diet high in takeaway foods, processed meats, red meat, high fat dairy products and confectionary.

The researchers speculated on possible causes, suggesting a lack of omega-3 or more additives in the Western diet.

In June 2009, Dr Oddy reported a similar linkage between more general behavioural problems in the teenagers and a Western diet.


July 29, 2010 - Posted by | ADHD, Child Health, Diet, Mediterranean diet, Omega-3, Success, Wendy H Oddy

1 Comment »

  1. Western diet v ADHD. « Team McCallum…

    I found your entry interesting do I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…

    Trackback by Mental Disorders 101 | August 1, 2010 | Reply

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