ERIC Number: ED117877
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1975
Reference Count: N/A
Food Additives and Hyperkinesis: A Controlled Double-Blind Experiment. (Includes NIE Staff Critique).
Conners, C. Keith; And Others
Fifteen hyperkinetic children (6-12 years old) were involved in a pilot study to test B. Feingold's hypothesis that hyperkinesis may be caused by artificial flavors and colors in food. Prior to treatment, parents and teachers completed bi-weekly questionnaires regarding each Ss' behavior both on medication (pretreatment period) and when medication was discontinued (baseline period). Ss were randomly assigned to either the experimental (K-P) diet which eliminates artificial flavors, colors, and natural salicylates or a control diet for 4 weeks. The following month, each S was placed on the alternative diet. Following each diet condition, parents were interviewed, school reports were examined, and a judgment was made using the Clinical Global Impressions scale without knowledge of diet condition. Results showed that both parents and teachers reported fewer hyperkinetic symptoms on the K-P diet as compared to pretreatment baseline; that teachers noted a highly significant reduction of symptoms on the K-P as compared to the control diet but the parents did not; and that control diet ratings did not differ from the baseline period for either parents or teachers. Although findings suggested that the K-P diet may reduce hyperkinetic symptoms, results should be viewed cautiously until further research is completed. Concluded in a critique of the pilot study by the National Institute of Education was that the behavioral outcome measures were "soft" and pharmacology uncertain; that the experimental design was subject to certain problems; and that the sample size did not allow for much further analysis. (SB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC. Office of Research.
Authoring Institution: Pittsburgh Univ., PA. Dept. of Psychiatry.