Thursday, March 31, 2011

About Time!

Back in the 1970s two of our foster kids had been diagnosed with ADHD and we tried putting them on the Feingold diet. That meant no artificial coloring or flavors, limited sugar, and no preservatives or foods high in salicylates.
I kept careful records of what they ate and how they behaved since results could take several days to happen. We found that eating sugar made no difference at all, but the other things made a huge difference. When on the diet the boys (who also had other problems) went from several tantrums a day to one or less a week. However eating even a tiny bit of the problem chemicals would set them off.
A couple of times the boys went wild when I was sure there hadn't been any exception to the diet, but we later found out the ingredients of certain foods had been changed but the old labels were still used.
Obviously that reaction couldn't have been a psychosomatic. However the Feingold diet was considered quackery by most of the medical community and there was a lot of negative publicity about it.
But a few years ago a study showed that preservatives can cause behavior problems. You can see an article about that here:
And this week it hit the news that scientists have discovered artificial colors in foods may be causing the increase in the number of hyperactive kids and the FDA is doing a study about it. Here's a link to an article about that:
Finally the Feingold diet is being taken seriously, although the people studying it don't seem to mention Dr. Feingold. The man deserves some credit.


  1. Janet, thank you for trying to help boys with ADHA. I fell through the cracks back in the 1950s. My rural school didn't know what to do with me and they labeled me stupid. I wrote a book about my youth. Fisher King Press is giving away promotional copies of my book Timekeeper. Google Fisher King Press. I hope you get a copy.

  2. Thank you for the comment, John. Back in the 1950s (When both of us were young) people didn't know much about ADHD or learning disabilities so life must have been difficult for you. I'm glad things are improving for kids now.

  3. Janet, I'm glad too. Please visit my blog and read sample chapters of Timekeeper. I'm proud of of this book. Because of Timekeeper I was invited to speak at the Library of Virginia. That was my graduation day in life. Cool.