Dietary Patterns and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder among Iranian Children


avatar Leila Azadbakht 1 , avatar Mohammad H. Rouhani 2 , avatar Ahmad Esmaillzadeh 1 , *

Associate Professor of Nutrition Science, Food Security Research Center, School of Nutrition, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran.
MSc Student of Nutrition, Department of Community Nutrition, School of Nutrition and Food Science, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran.

how to cite: Azadbakht L, Rouhani M H, Esmaillzadeh A. Dietary Patterns and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder among Iranian Children. Zahedan J Res Med Sci. 2012;14(2):e93576.


Background:  To evaluate the association of major dietary patterns identified by factor analysis and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in a group of Iranian school aged children.
Materials and Method:  This cross-sectional study was conducted among 375 school-aged children in Tehran, Iran. Usual dietary intakes were assessed by a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire. DSM-IV questionnaire was used to determine the prevalence of ADHD. Major dietary patterns were identified by factor analysis.
Results: The prevalence of ADHD was 9.7% in this population. We identified 4 major dietary patterns: "healthy", "western", "sweet" and "fast foods" dietary patterns. Children in top quintile of "sweet dietary pattern” score had greater odds for having ADHD as compared with those in the lowest quintile (Odds ratio: 3.95 95% CI: 1.16, 15.31 p=0.03). Greater adherence to "fast food" dietary pattern was significantly associated with higher risk of having ADHD (Odds ratio: 3.21 95% CI: 1.05, 10.90 p=0.03). No overall significant associations were seen between either healthy or western dietary patterns with ADHD. All these analysis were done in the controlled model for confounders.
Conclusion: We found significant independent associations between "sweet" and "fast foods" dietary patterns and prevalence of ADHD. Prospective studies are required to confirm these findings.


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© 2012, Zahedan Journal of Research in Medical Sciences. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License ( which permits copy and redistribute the material just in noncommercial usages, provided the original work is properly cited.