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Irene Hatsu, associate professor at Ohio State University:

‘Diet may be one way to reduce ADHD symptoms in children’

There is another good reason for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to eat their fruits and vegetables. According to a new study, it may help reduce inattention issues.

As part of a larger study, researchers asked parents of 134 kids with ADHD symptoms to complete a detailed questionnaire about the typical foods the children ate, including portion sizes, over a 90-day period. Another questionnaire asked parents to rate symptoms of inattention – a hallmark of ADHD – in their kids, such as having trouble staying focused, not following instructions, difficulty remembering things, and difficulty regulating emotions.

According to Irene Hatsu, co-author of the study and associate professor of human nutrition at The Ohio State University, results showed that kids who consumed more fruits and vegetables showed less severe symptoms of inattention. “Eating a healthy diet, including fruits and vegetables, may be one way to reduce some of the symptoms of ADHD,” Hatsu said.

The study that evaluated the effectiveness of the supplement showed that children who took the micronutrients were three times as likely to show significant improvement in their ADHD and emotional dysregulation symptoms than those who took a placebo. That study was published last year in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.


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