Attention deficits are not just for kids (letter to The Guardian)

On ADHD (Attention deficits are not just for kids, 10 January 2014), it is not a lack of Ritalin or other pharmaceuticals causing the symptoms that researchers have spent lifetimes cataloguing and renaming, but the presence in people's diet and environment of chemicals that affect them.

Under-reported research and the experience of the 10,000 families in our network is that, for both children and adults, ADHD is not an issue if they choose the lifestyle diet  from Sydney's Royal Prince Alfred Hospital that we support.  This comprises eating mostly fresh, unprocessed foods and avoiding some additives and some natural food chemicals called salicylates, amines and glutamates. We also avoid fragranced products and chemical or ‘new’ smells including new cars. It works well for our network members, who typically write back about ‘amazing’ improvements as documented over 23 years on

Your article doesn’t mention recent figures showing that on average about 11% of USA children have a diagnosis of ADHD, rising to over 18% in Kentucky, and that ADHD is virtually unknown in traditional Amish and Mennonite religious communities.  The latter live on family farms, farm without pesticides, mostly eat fresh, unprocessed foods, avoid cosmetics and use horse drawn buggies. A study of Old Order Mennonite women in mid pregnancy found they generally had much lower levels than the US average for various pesticides and environmental chemicals thought to be associated with ADHD or autism – including, with a few exceptions, a perfume fixative called MEP, and PVC found in car interiors.


Ms Sue Dengate and Dr Howard Dengate
Food Intolerance Network
+61 2 6654 7500
PO Box 718 WOOLGOOLGA NSW 2456 Australia

Original article in Guardian

Original article in the Washington Post

ADHD and diet factsheet with scientific references

92 pages of reports from members about ADHD and diet

USA figures for ADHD

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