Who knew common sense was just the thing to cure ADHD? A study done at the Children’s Memorial Hospital found just that as reported in MedPage Today. There is much debate about how to help these kids with their behaviour though behaviour modification techniques, supplementation, medication and diet. I will admit that my opinions on the subject are formed at a professional distance as I did not have a child with attention issues. I have, however seen the impact of this diagnoses on children I love as well as on many classrooms the children I love have been in. I know it is not easy.
But I also know for a fact that every cell in a body is made from the fuel (food) that goes in to it. If we accept that ADHD is a founded affliction of the cells in the brain that can be modified by drugs, it follows that they can be modified (for better or worse) and/or supported by food. Since I am willing and able to make dietary modification for each and every person in my home, it makes sense to me that one would start there.
And sure enough, it is known that diet is an established contributor and that the “development of ADHD was significantly associated with Western diets.” I am just surprised that this is news. Is it really? Do people still not know that food can affect your mood and energy level? Why would it be any different for a child?
“Simple diets low in fats, high in whole grains, fruits and vegetables are the best alternative to medication for ADHD”. How is food an “alternative”? Isn’t it the foundation? It is understandable that a parent would want to help their child as quickly and fully as possible. ADHD can affect every facet of childhood going well beyond the obvious of socialization and learning. But shortcuts almost always net shortcomings.
To boot, the above “diet” is also controlling for diabetes, heart disease, cancer, hypertension… Why wouldn’t it be the thing to start with to control ADHD symptoms? I have seen behaviour issues rise and fall with blood sugar. It turns out that these studies confirm that the issue isn’t the “sugar” itself. Avoiding blood sugar spikes with simple, healthy snacks ought to be standard to get the best out of the brain’s ability to focus. Study away if we must but teachers have been telling us for decades that well fed kids do better and are easier to handle.
For the record, three other findings were mentioned: