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July 16, 1982

Defined Diets and Childhood Hyperactivity

JAMA. 1982;248(3):290-292. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330030014002

A CONSENSUS Development Conference was held at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on Jan 13,14, and 15, 1982, to seek positions on issues involving defined diets and childhood hyperactivity.

At the NIH, Consensus Development Conferences bring together biomedical investigators, practicing physicians, consumers, and health-advocacy groups to provide a scientific assessment of technologies, including drugs, devices, and procedures, and to seek agreement on their safety and effectiveness. On the first two days of the meeting, experts presented evidence to a consensus development panel and members of the audience on the following key questions:

  • • What constitutes the hyperactivity syndrome in children? Is it a single disease or a cluster of diseases? Can it be graded or scaled in quantifiable variables such as attention span, learning ability, and social adjustment and by whom (teachers, parents, medical personnel)?

  • • What are the defined diets?

  • • Is there empirical evidence for an effect