Myth: Poor diet and/or environmental conditions [allergies, pollution, sugar, food additives] are responsible for ADD.
Reality: Again, ADD is an inherited, neurobiological condition. There is little scientific evidence that any dietary or environmental causes exist for ADD , although these ideas continue to be explored. A perfect example of the public’s misinformation on this subject is the still-common myth that sugar causes children to be hyperactive, that kids get a “sugar high.” In reality, the only absolute negative effect of sugar that has been confirmed by science is tooth decay! No reliable link has been established between sugar and hyperactive behavior.
The American Academy of Pediatrics says that diagnosing ADD requires gathering information from parents or caregivers, as well as teachers and school professionals, but the Academy does not recommend diagnostic exams, such as blood-lead tests and thyroid tests, because research has shown no link between ADD and lead or thyroid levels. Again, the physician’s best diagnostic tool is a careful and thorough history.