Food and Behaviour Research

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Dietary patterns and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder among Iranian children

Azadbakht L, Esmaillzadeh A. (2012) Nutrition.  28(3) 242-9. Epub 2011 Aug 25. 

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This study was conducted to assess the relation of major dietary patterns identified by factor analysis to attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in a group of Iranian school-age children.

This cross-sectional study was conducted in 375 school-age children in Tehran, Iran. We assessed usual dietary intakes by a semiquantitative food-frequency questionnaire. The presence of ADHD was diagnosed using the questionnaire of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition. Major dietary patterns were identified by factor analysis.

The prevalence of ADHD was 9.7% in this population. We identified four major dietary patterns: "healthy," "Western," "sweet," and "fast food." After controlling for potential confounders, children in the top quintile of the sweet dietary pattern score had greater odds for having ADHD compared with those in the lowest quintile (odds ratio 3.95, 95% confidence interval 1.16-15.31, P for trend = 0.03). Greater adherence to the fast-food dietary pattern was significantly associated with a higher risk of having ADHD (odds ratio 3.21, 95% confidence interval 1.05-10.90, P for trend = 0.03). No overall significant associations were seen between the healthy or Western dietary pattern and ADHD.

We found significant independent associations between the sweet and fast-food dietary patterns and the prevalence of ADHD. Prospective studies are required to confirm these findings.


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