HEALTH AND NUTRITION

Diet, ADHD, and Behavior: A Quarter Century Review
In 1999 The Center for Science in the Public Interest published this detailed report on the role played by diet in the behavior of children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). This objectively written paper summarizes the results of research studies that have shown dietary effects and those that have shown no effects. A detailed discussion explores the impact of these studies on management programs for children with ADHD. Guidelines for choosing medication or dietary alternatives are presented. The website also includes a second paper, “Parents Guide to Diet, ADHD and Behavior”, which summarizes the information for parents and presents specific alternatives for exploring the impact of dietary changes.

Position: Functional Foods 
In 1995 the American Dietetic Association presented this position paper on phytochemicals and functional foods, a position that was then reaffirmed in 1997. Phytochemicals are food components that are derived from plant foods. Functional foods are defined as any modified food or food ingredient that may provide a health benefit beyond the traditional nutrients it contains. “It is the position of The American Dietetic Association (ADA) that specific substances in foods (e.g., phytochemicals as naturally occurring components and functional food components) may have a beneficial role in health as part of a varied diet.” This paper describes their research rationale and differences between consuming these nutrients as part of the diet or in supplement form. The role and responsibility of dietitians in this new area is suggested.

In Harms Way: Toxic Threats to Child Development 
This extensive report by the Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility describes and delineates the interaction between environmental chemicals and child development. They discuss the existingresearch and the role that environmental chemicals may play in developmental disabilities (including ADHD, autism, neurodevelopmental disease). Normal brain development and developmental toxicology are discussed in detail along with known and suspected developmental neurotoxicants. This is a paper that should be downloaded and read by parents and therapists who are concerned about the role played by the environment in the well being of children.

Gluten- and casein-free dietary intervention for autism spectrum conditions
Children with autism spectrum disorders may show an elevated level of opoid peptides that contribute to the behaviors associated with this disorder. It is speculated that these substances come from an incomplete digestive breakdown of certain foods, resulting in a high level of these peptides in the blood and urine. Casein in milk and gluten in wheat and other grains are two of the food components that can create this neuroendocrine problem. This paper discusses research and clinical perspectives that support dietary modification in children with autism.

Minerals/Vitamins and Down Syndrome
This article is a collection of bibliographic references on studies of vitamin and mineral status and needs in children with Down Syndrome. The author includes summary comments on each published study.

Growth Charts in Down Syndrome
Growth charts are a major tool for measuring the adequacy of children’s growth. A child’s height and weight are compared with these growth measures for a standardized group of children of the same age and sex. Growth charts for typically developing children are not appropriate to use in determining growth adequacy for infants and children with Down syndrome. Special growth charts developed for this group are presented on this website. Separate charts for boys and girls allow comparisons to be made in Metric and English scales.

Search the USDA Nutrient Database for Standard Reference 
Here's a marvelous resource if you need detailed nutrient information on a specific food. Enter the name of the food in the USDA database. Select the specific brand or preparation of the food, and the amount. The resulting chart will give you calories, grams of carbohydrates, fats, and protein. Amounts of specific vitamins, minerals, lipids, and amino acids are also provided.

FARE: Food Allergy Research and Education 

FARE answers common questions about food allergy, supports a newsletter, and provides information on current thinking and research on food allergies.

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