Effects of food on physical and sleep complaints in children with ADHD: a randomised controlled pilot study

L.M. Pelsser, K. Frankena, J.K. Buitelaar, N.N. Rommelse

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25 Citations (Scopus)


Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a common behavioural disorder in children, may be associated with comorbid physical and sleep complaints. Dietary intervention studies have shown convincing evidence of efficacy in reducing ADHD symptoms in children. In this pilot study, we investigated the effects of an elimination diet on physical and sleep complaints in children with ADHD. A group of 27 children (3.8–8.5 years old), who all met the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition criteria for ADHD, were assigned randomly to either a diet group (15/27) or a control group (12/27). The diet group followed a 5-week elimination diet; the control group adhered to their normal diet. Parents of both groups had to keep an extended diary and had to monitor the behaviour and the physical and sleep complaints of their child conscientiously. The primary endpoint was the clinical response, i.e. a decrease of physical and sleep complaints, at the end of the trial, based on parent ratings on a Physical Complaints Questionnaire. The number of physical and sleep complaints was significantly decreased in the diet group compared to the control group (p¿
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1129-1138
JournalEuropean Journal of Pediatrics
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
  • cognitive-behavior therapy
  • chronic-fatigue-syndrome
  • low-birth-weight
  • controlled-trial
  • oligoantigenic diet
  • clinical-trial
  • adolescents
  • management
  • multicenter

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