Food and Behaviour Research

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The Association of Lifestyle Factors and ADHD in Children.

Holton KF, Nigg JT. (2016)    

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The objective of the study is to examine whether children aged 7 to 11 years with very well-characterized ADHD, recruited from the community, have a similar number of healthy lifestyle behaviors as compared with typically developing children from the same community.


Parents of children with (n = 184) and without (n = 104) ADHD completed a lifestyle questionnaire asking about water intake, sweetened beverage consumption, multivitamin/supplement use, reading, screen time, physical activity, and sleep. A lifestyle index was formed from these seven domains (0-7), and multivariable ordered logistic regression was used to examine the association of ADHD status and total healthy lifestyle behaviors.


Children with ADHD were almost twice as likely to have fewer healthy behaviors, even after adjustment for age, sex, intelligence quotient (IQ), ADHD medication use, household income, and four comorbid psychiatric disorders (odds ratio [OR] [95% confidence interval] = 1.95 [1.16, 3.30], p = .01).


Future research is needed to assess the effects of a combined lifestyle intervention in this group.