Elimination diets for ADHD
Published April 2013
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What were we asked?
A survey of parents of children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) indicated that they were interested in whether eliminating artificial food colourings and additives from their child’s diet might affect symptoms of ADHD.
A recent systematic review combined the best available evidence and found that, in the general population of children with ADHD, there is no evidence that elimination diets have a significant beneficial effect.
However, there may be some children who are sensitive to artificial food additives and may respond to avoiding these in their diet. Restricting the diet of a child will be time-consuming and potentially disruptive to the family, and could also be a barrier to the child being included socially in various settings.
Therefore, there is insufficient evidence for the benefit of these diets to recommend them for all children with ADHD.