Overall nutrient intake of preschool hyperactive and normal boys.J Abnorm Child Psychol 1989; 17(2):127-32JA
Studies examining the relationship between sugar intake of hyperactive children and behavior problems have reported inconsistent results. We hypothesized that if the problem behaviors of attention deficit-disordered children with hyperactivity (ADDH) are exacerbated by food, then this might be due to differences in their background nutrition relative to non-ADDH children. Parents and day care workers of 24 ADDH and 27 non-ADDH preschool-aged boys were trained to keep food diaries for 21 days. Analysis of the last 14 days for each child revealed no differences in overall nutrient intake between the two groups. On the other hand, for 5 ADDH and 3 non-ADDH children the within-subject correlations between daily behavior and sugar intake were significant. We concluded that nutrition-behavior interactions are more likely a function of idiosyncratic sensitivities, rather than a general tendency for ADDH children to eat differently from non-ADDH children.