Attention deficient disorder (ADHD) is a growing problem, afflicting around 5 per cent of children. Now researchers say they have pinpointed one of its main causes. Adolescents who eat a Western diet of fast food – processed, fried and refined meals – are twice as likely to suffer from ADHD as those who mainly eat healthier fare. A processed, fast food diet is very low in fatty acids, and high in total fat, saturated fat, refined sugar and sodium. Omega-3 fatty acids, folate and fibre – which can be found in fish, whole grains, fruits and vegetables – help develop mental health, and aid optimal brain function. Researchers at the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research in Perth, Australia studied the diets of around 1800 adolescents aged up to 14 years. Of these, 115 had been diagnosed with ADHD. Prof Wendy Oddy, who headed up the research, said that the fastfood diet also wasn’t providing enough micronutrients that can aid attention and concentration. (Source: Journal of Attention Disorders, 2010; doi: 10.1177/1087054710365990).