Why do One in Ten Kids in the U.S. Have ADHD?

A U.S. government survey claims that 1 in 10 U.S. children now has ADHD. This is a sizable increase from a few years earlier. ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) makes it hard for children to pay attention and control impulsive behavior.

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About two-thirds of the children diagnosed with ADHD are on some form of prescription medication.

According to AP medical writer Mike Stobbe:
“In the latest survey, 9.5 percent said a doctor or health care provider had told them their child had ADHD … ADHD diagnosis is in many ways a matter of opinion.

There’s no blood test or brain-imaging exam for the condition. Sometimes reading disabilities or other problems in the classroom cause a teacher or others to mistakenly think a child has ADHD.”

Researchers suggested growing awareness and better screening may be responsible for the rising numbers, but there are a number of food additives that experts think may worsen ADHD as well. They include:

•Blue #1 and #2 food coloring
•Green #3
•Orange B
•Red #3 and #40
•Yellow #5 and #6
•Sodium benzoate, a preservative
According to Health.com:
“Will eliminating dye-containing foods from a child’s diet help ADHD? Experts say there’s not enough evidence … Most studies of a possible link analyzed blends of additives, not single ingredients, making it difficult to find a culprit.”

Resources:
Yahoo Finance November 10, 2010
Health.com November 2010
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) November 12, 2010 / 59(44);1439-1443

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