Stress Management > ADHD > Causes of ADHD > Diet and lifestyle

Diet and lifestyle

A person's diet has long been implicated as influencing their physical and mental health, cognitive capacity and behavioural wellbeing.

Many food additives have been found to instigate hyperactivity particularly sodium benzoate which is a preservative found in sweets and ice cream.

Food colouring has also been linked to increased prevalence of ADHD and ADHD symptoms. Even colouring in products such as toothpaste have been implicated as increasing the risk of suffering from ADHD.

Yellow dyes have been found to deplete the body’s stores of zinc which has been linked to increased levels of hyperactivity. Red dyes have also been associated with symptoms of ADHD; consuming foods that have been coloured red, whether synthetic or natural, has been said to trigger behaviour problems and is associated with increased numbers of tantrums. However heath authorites particulally the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have reported there is no connection between food colouring and ADHD.

Additionally it has been found that children exposed to lead or other environmental toxins including PCBs early in life could also be at a higher risk of developing ADHD.

There has been research linking maternal lifestyle to the behaviour condition; mothers who drank alcohol and smoked during pregnancy are more likely to have a child diagnosed with the condition.