Dietary and nutrient status of children with attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder: a case-control study.Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2018; 27(6):1325-1331.AP
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES
Nutritional and dietary habits may affect children's behaviors and learning. The etiology of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a common neurodevelopmental disorder in children, may be associated with unhealthy diets or nutrients deficiencies. The purpose of this study was to examine whether children with ADHD exhibited different dietary habits or nutrient profiles from healthy control subjects.
METHODS AND STUDY DESIGN
We recruited 42 patients with ADHD (mean age: 8.1 years) and 36 healthy children as the control group (mean age: 9.8 years). We adopted the ADHD Rating Scale and the Swanson, Nolan, and Pelham Version IV Scale to interview both the ADHD patients and the control subjects and then evaluated participants' dietary intake with a food frequency questionnaire. Logistic regression models were utilized to produce a composite dietary/nutrient score, while receiver operating characteristic (ROC) was adopted to differentiate between the two participant groups.
Compared to the control children, children with ADHD demonstrated a higher intake proportion of refined grains (p=0.026) and a lower proportion of dairy (p=0.013), calcium (p=0.043), and vitamin B-2 (p=0.024). We observed that the composite score of dietary and nutrient could significantly distinguish patients with ADHD from healthy controls (p<0.001). The composite dietary/nutrient score demonstrated a significant correlation with the severity of ADHD clinical symptoms (p<0.05).
ADHD children and healthy controls have different dietary patterns and that dietary and nutrient factors may play a role in the pathophysiology of ADHD. Clinicians should consider dietary habits and specific nutrients in the routine assessment of children with ADHD.