Parents of ADHD children more likely to give them junk food

Korean researchers recently published a study in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior exploring any connections between snack consumption and ADHD.

The researchers enrolled over 220 children between the ages of 7 and 10. They had the parents complete a survey that asked questions regarding frequency of snacking, snack types, reasons for snacks, and snack preparation. Teachers screened the children for ADHD by using the Korean ADHD Rating Scale

While they found that both ADHD and non-ADHD children snacked, they discovered that children with ADHD were more likely to eat more junk food than those without ADHD. And the reason why? Parents of children with ADHD were more likely to provide snacks their children wanted, compared to parents of children without ADHD. And, of course, and those snack preferences were more likely to be soft drinks, sweets, and processed food.

Given the growing body of research showing that nutrition plays a significant role in our mental health—including ADHD—it’s concerning that parents of ADHD children may be more likely to provide their children with food that could interfere with mental health. It’s a clear sign that we, as a society, need to do more to provide parents with the support they need to give their children consistent, healthy nutrition.