There have been many controversial studies linking food coloring and additives to hyperactivity in kids.

There have also been a lot of parents who have pinned their hopes on elimination diets to improve their kids’ rowdy behavior.

“When elimination diets fail, parents can feel they’ve failed,” says Linda Brauer, coordinator of the Grand Rapids chapter of the advocacy group Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.

She remembers feeling guilty when her son’s symptoms did not improve after using an elimination diet. But now she says the science is on her side.

Elimination Dietsreview paper published today in the journal Pediatrics evaluated the evidence from many studies on this topic. And it concludes that changing a child’s diet is usually not enough to effectively treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

“Elimination diets may help in a very small percentage of patients,” whereas stimulant medications are generally very effective, writes J. Gordon Millichap, a neurologist at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago who authored the paper.

Now, before all of the we-are-what-we-eat believers among us dismiss this, you should know that experts don’t deny the importance of diet. Far from it.

“Elimination Diets main role in my clinical practice is as a complementary treatment,” Benjamin Prince, a psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital tells us.

That means kids with ADHD usually need medicine and good diets.

But what makes a good diet?

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Pat Wyman

Pat Wyman is the best selling author of  Instant Learning for Amazing GradesLearning vs. Testing, CEO and founder of . and the creator of the Personal Learning Styles Inventory. 


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