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Nutritional status of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

Esma Energin (Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Ankara University, Ankara, Turkey)
Neslisah Rakicioglu (Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey)
Birim Günay Kiliç (Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Ankara University School of Medicine, Ankara, Turkey)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 2 February 2015




The purpose of this paper is to compare the nutritional status and certain anthropometric characteristics in school-age children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and healthy controls.


A total of 200 children (ages eight to 11), half with ADHD and the other half healthy, participated in the study. A three-day food consumption record was taken and evaluated based on energy and macro-micro nutrient requirements. Weight, height, waist, hip, mid-upper arm circumferences and hand grip strength were measured.


Energy, protein, fat, saturated fatty acids, monounsaturated fatty acids, carbohydrate, niacin and zinc intakes were found significantly lower than healthy controls for female participants and all nutrient intakes were found significantly lower than healthy controls for male participants (p<0.05). Children with ADHD had lower anthropometric measures (p>0.05).

Research limitations/implications

The study sample size was too small to make results general and subtypes of ADHD and medication types were disregarded during the data collection process which limited the interpretation of the study results.


There are only a few researches about nutritional status of children with ADHD in Turkey. In this study, the authors found that children with ADHD have inadequate and unbalanced diet. Because of this result it is important to evaluate and monitor the nutritional status and habits of children diagnosed with ADHD for a healthy growth and development.



The authors wish to thank the participants and their parents as well as teachers from primary school. The authors received no financial support for the research and/or authorship of this paper. The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interests with respect to the authorship and/or publication of this paper.


Energin, E., Rakicioglu, N. and Kiliç, B.G. (2015), "Nutritional status of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder", British Food Journal, Vol. 117 No. 2, pp. 604-613.



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