Background: Food sensitivity has long been implicated in ADHD symptoms. However no definitive recommendations regarding diet have been made due to lack of significant findings. Recently two studies examined an elimination diet and its effect on behavior in children with ADHD. Both studies showed significant improvement in behavior using the Abbreviated Conners Scale (ACS) and ADHD rating scale questionnaires (ARS). Data introduced in this systematic review is evaluated using GRADE criteria.
Method: An exhaustive search of available medical literature was conducted using Medline, CINAHL, Web of Knowledge and PubMed. The following search terms were used: ADHD, children, elimination diet.
Results: Two randomized control trials were reviewed. Both studies used ARS and ACS questionnaires to assess children’s behavior at the beginning and then after five weeks of intervention. Both studies report a statistically significant difference between the initial evaluations and after intervention.
Conclusion: The strength of evidence for diet affecting behavior in children with ADHD is moderate. A weak recommendation is given to using diet as possible intervention for children with ADHD.
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