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July 16, 1982

Nutrition and Hyperactivity

Author Affiliations

University of Rochester Medical Center Rochester, NY

JAMA. 1982;248(3):355-356. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330030061030

Nutrition is in the air these days. Unsatisfied with the victory over specific nutritional deficiencies (rickets, scurvy, and pellagra are largely diseases of the past in Western society), the public and the medical profession are concentrating on new nutritional horizons. One such is the hyperactive child, who in previous generations was considered incorrigible, but today, through the action of learned committees, has been designated as having an "attention-deficit disorder."1 Such children, most of whom are boys, have always presented a problem to parents and schoolteachers, a problem so seemingly insoluble that any proposed solution, be it drugs or diet, is immediately greeted with enthusiasm.

I first met Benjamin Feingold, MD, when he spoke at the June 1973 meeting of the American Medical Association in Chicago. He espoused his theory with great vigor and little documentation. Then came his book,2 which immediately attracted wide attention, for in it he stated that