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Study: Poor Diet More Common Among Children with Inattentive ADHD

May 12, 2022Unhealthy eating habits are more prevalent among children with inattentive symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) than they are among those without the condition. This finding came from a new study published in Nutrients that compared the food consumption and dietary habits of children with and without ADHD in relation to their age and ADHD presentation.

1The study sample included 734 children in Spain, including 259 preschoolers aged 3 to 6 years (57 with ADHD and 202 controls) and 475 elementary-school-age children aged 10 to 12 years (213 with ADHD and 262 controls).Researchers measured three types of eating patterns:Findings revealed only 12% of children with inattentive ADHD adhered to a healthy pattern compared to 40% of children in the control group. Children with inattentive ADHD were most likely to follow the Western-like pattern.Both groups demonstrated unhealthy eating habits, specifically consuming more than the recommended amount of sweets (fruit juice, dairy desserts, red meat, sweet cereals, and sweet sodas).

Almost all preschool children (95% of the children with ADHD and 96% of children in the control group) practiced poor eating habits. In the elementary-school-age group, researchers found that 92% of children across both groups should improve the quality of their diets.

1“The study population generally has a poor-quality diet that it needs to improve to prevent future health issues,” the authors said. “This indicates the need to improve children’s diets in general.

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