Are We What We Eat..?

…or are we what our mothers ate?

A diet high in fat and sugar during pregnancy may be linked to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children with behavioural problems early in life, experts have found.

The research, led by scientists from King’s College London (KCL) and the University of Bristol, is believed to be the first to indicate that an unhealthy diet alters the baby’s DNA in a way that might lead to brain changes and later ADHD.

ADHD and conduct problems are the most common reasons for child mental health referral in the UK and tend to occur in tandem. More than 40% of children with a diagnosis of behavioural problems also have a diagnosis of ADHD.

Hmmm, now, I know correlation ain’t causation, but still. It might well explain the proliferation of the ‘ADHD Badge’ so prevalent in chav areas.

Co-author Dr Edward Barker, from the department of psychology at KCL, stressed that parents with children with ADHD should not blame themselves because diet was just one factor, albeit a potentially significant one.

“ADHD/conduct problems are very complex psychiatric problems, they are multi-determined,” he said.

“Diet could be an important but it’s going to be important alongside a host of other risks. A sensible diet can improve symptoms but it’s not a single causal agent.”

There are ailternative options, of course.

Dr Max Davie, the mental health lead at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said the hypothesis applied to a fairly small subset of children.

“It may be that the mothers with a worse diet are more impulsive by nature, and hence find it hard to resist unhealthy options, and this inherited tendency is, at least in part, responsible for the presence of ADHD symptoms in their children,” he said.

Hmmm, so which came first, the ADHD chicken or the impulsive egg?

11 comments for “Are We What We Eat..?

  1. Bemused
    August 28, 2016 at 11:41 am

    Bullshit. If this caliber of “scientist” can’t think of anything to do that is worthwhile and beneficial to society they should be sacked and put to work doing something manual and worthwhile. Painting fences, picking potatoes, digging holes, sewing clothes. Also who pays them for this crap?

  2. August 28, 2016 at 12:21 pm

    My parents were fond of fish and chips. Must go, off for a swim.

  3. August 28, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    Not enough structure at home. Parents must say ‘no’ now and again — and mean it.

    • September 4, 2016 at 7:39 am

      That does seem to be the most likely cause of so much ‘ADHD’…

  4. Ripper
    August 28, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    I stopped reading at ‘experts have found’.

  5. Stonyground
    August 28, 2016 at 2:47 pm

    Is this bad science or bad science reporting? Nothing in your environment can alter your DNA once you have been conceived.

    • Voice of Reason
      August 28, 2016 at 8:48 pm

      It can, for new cells, in some odd viral interactions. However, my deep suspicion is that parents who have trouble controlling their children also feed them crap.

  6. Catherine White
    August 28, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    I’m so old I can remember when ADHD was still called NBGH – Needs Bloody Good Hiding.

    • Mudplugger
      August 28, 2016 at 9:45 pm

      I too seem to recall that NBGH had an almost 100% success-rate in curing what is now portrayed as ADHD, and all without any medical intervention, or costing the NHS a penny, or enriching the grasping shareholders in Big Pharma.

  7. Lord T
    August 29, 2016 at 11:57 am

    In which case we must have been eating a lot of cat back in the 90s.

    The children born then are a bunch of pussies.

    • September 4, 2016 at 7:40 am


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