Letters: ADHD

On Saturday's program, Guy Raz talked to Dutch researcher Lidy Pelsser about her study on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and diet. Pelsser said there is no such disease as ADHD and that two-thirds of kids who have attention and hyperactivity problems actually have a sensitivity reaction to certain foods. Many listeners commented that the study was flawed and misleading.

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GUY RAZ, host:

Welcome back to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.

Yesterday, we heard from Dutch researcher Lidy Pelsser about her study on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and diet. It was published in February in the British medical journal The Lancet.

Pelsser said there is no such disease as ADHD, and that two-thirds of kids who have attention and hyperactivity problems actually have a sensitivity reaction to certain foods. The solution, she says? They just need to limit what they eat.

Well, that interview prompted many of you to comment on our website. Some listeners welcomed the study, but others raised red flags. Kris De Lisle(ph) wrote: Very large-scale, double-blind studies have demonstrated that medication is a reliable mode of treatment for ADHD. Doctors have expressed concern about this particular study because it could not be structured as a double-blind study. This is the equivalent of reporting that vaccines cause autism.

And Carol Paton(ph) wrote: The purported link between diet and ADHD was thoroughly disproved long ago in well-designed studies. Genetics, not foods, are heavily implicated in ADHD. This study's results will not stand up to replication and verification, and its publication misinforms parents sincerely trying to help their children with ADHD.

As always, we welcome your questions and comments. Go to our website, npr.org, and click on Contact Us at the bottom of the page.

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