No scientific evidence that diet helps reduce hyperactivity: health body

There is no evidence to suggest that special diets to calm down hyperactive children actually work, according to the Dutch public health institute RIVM after a four-year study.

Claims about reducing food colourings and e-numbers and boosting omega-3 fats have no scientific basis, the organisation’s expert panel is quoted as saying in Tuesday’s Volkskrant.

Special diets are increasingly popular for treating children with adhd, the paper says. For example, the Netherlands has four private clinics where parents can get advice about diet for children diagnosed with adhd, at a cost of €850 a time.

The centres were founded by academic Lidy Pelsser whose 2011 doctorate showed symptoms of hyperactivity disappeared in six out of 10 children put on special diets.

Pelsser told the paper she is not impressed by the RIVM claims, arguing that government bodies are quick to point to the efficacy of medicines in treating adhd.

The RIVM study was published earlier this month and recommends follow-up research involving the placebo effect.

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