Researchers uncover a link between ADHD and unhealthy diets

A new study released in the American Journal of Medical Genetics uncovered a link between attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and unhealthy diets containing high-sugar.

The study, conducted at the Swedish Örebro Universitet, included close to 18,000 twins in early-adulthood, aged 20 to 47, as part of the Swedish Twin Registry. Surveys were administered to assess their health background and lifestyle habits.

“We explored these associations using a Swedish population‐based twin study with 17,999 individuals aged 20–47 years. We estimated correlations between inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity with dietary habits and fitted twin models to determine the genetic and environmental contributions,” the co-authors explained in their publication.

“Dietary habits were defined as (a) consumption of food groups, (b) consumption of food items rich in particular macronutrients, and (c) healthy and unhealthy dietary patterns.”

According to the results, inattention, and hyperactivity, both hallmark traits of ADHD, correlated with certain dietary habits.

“We are exploring dietary habits and ADHD to obtain a better understanding of why there is an association,” the authors stated. “A better understanding may help us explain why individuals with ADHD are at increased risk for several somatic diseases, such as obesity.”

“It may also generate new hypothesis for genetic research and treatment alternatives.”

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