Effects of an elimination diet and a healthy diet in children with ADHD

Friday 3 May 2024, 12:30 pm
PhD candidate
E. Bosch MSc.
prof. dr. N.N.J. Lambregts-Rommelse, prof. dr. J. Buitelaar
dr. S.W. Berg (RIVM)

For quite some time, a correlation has been observed between diet and hyperactive behavior. Parents frequently observe that their children exhibit heightened levels of hyperactivity after consuming foods rich in artificial colors, such as candy, chips, or pudding. Additionally, there is a growing demand for non-medication-based treatments for ADHD. This thesis illustrates that adhering to a healthy diet, as per the guidelines established by the Dutch Nutrition Center, more frequently results in improvements in ADHD and emotional regulation problems compared to an elimination diet, both in the short and long term (investigated in the TRACE study). When parents show motivation and interest in dietary interventions, adopting a healthy eating pattern could present a new treatment avenue for children with ADHD. Nevertheless, implementing such treatment requires deliberate effort. Consequently, as a follow-up to this thesis, we will explore the most effective methods for implementation, such as engaging in dialogues with parents, healthcare professionals, and local authorities.

Annick (1991) obtained her Master’s degree in Behavourial Science in 2015 and ‘Pedagogische Wetenschappen’ in 2016. After graduating in 2016, Annick started working as a child psychologist, in addition to working as a research assistant. In 2017, she started her PhD project at Karakter Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Currently, she is working as a child psychologist and senior research at Karakter.