Monday, August 2, 2010

'Western' Diet Linked to ADHD

Source: The Toronto Sun (Summary by NIM)

Of all the known types of 'diets', it sure seems that the Western style of eating has the worst reputation. Yes, other parts of the world fry stuff too, and they use the same ingredients that we do here, but somehow, we always manage to muck things up and make ourselves sick. And now there's even more evidence that the way we eat out here in the West affects not only our waistlines, but also our brains.

A new Australian study has just found a link between ADHD and a Western-type diet in adolescents. The definition of 'Western Diet' in this study included lots of fried food, fast food, candy and refined food products. Overall, this type of diet includes more fat, saturated fat, refined sugar and sodium than what is considered healthy by any standard, but lower in fibre and omega-3 fatty acids.

The highest prevalence of ADHD was found in kids who ate a lot of take out meals, processed and meats, candy and high fat dairy products. The thought is that all this fat is swinging the kids' fatty acid profile in the wrong direction. This fits in with previous research that has shown a positive effect on the brain of having lots of healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which can also potentially prevent or calm the symptoms of ADHD.

In the end, it is still unclear which causes which - is it diet that causes ADHD or the other way around? Regardless, its undisputed that there is some kind of a link here and it's best if we start cleaning up the way we eat, and especially the way we feed our kids!

Read more at the Toronto Sun (July 29, 2010) in the article called "Study links ADHD to poor diet"