HealthDay News — According to a study published in Pediatrics, children who follow a Mediterranean diet may be less likely to have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Researchers at the University of Barcelona in Spain recruited 120 children and teenagers ages 6 to 16. Half had recently been diagnosed with ADHD. 

The children received a score based on how well their typical meals matched the traditional Mediterranean diet. 

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The researchers also looked at parents’ education levels, whether children were breastfed and whether they exercised regularly or were overweight.

Of those with ADHD, 30.0% were deemed to have good adherence, compared with 63.3% of their classmates without the disorder.

In the end, children with medium to low adherence to the Mediterranean diet were found to be about 3 to 7 times more likely to have ADHD.

“Our data support the notion that not only ‘specific nutrients’ but also the ‘whole diet’ should be considered in ADHD,” the authors write.


Ríos-Hernández A, et al. “The Mediterranean Diet And ADHD In Children And Adolescents”. Pediatrics. 2017. doi: 10.1542/peds.2016-2027. [Epub ahead of print]

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