Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common psychiatric disorders in children. Children with ADHD usually have low blood pressure and weight disorders. Therefore, the present randomized clinical trial was conducted to evaluate the effect of Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) on weight and blood pressure of children with ADHD.
In this research, 86 children aged 6 to 12 years with diagnosed ADHD according to Conner’s Teacher's Questionnaire and DSM-4 criteria were investigated. Participants were randomly assigned into two groups to receive a DASH diet and a control diet for 12 weeks. Participants' anthropometric indices, blood pressure, physical activity, and dietary compliance were evaluated each month. Adherence to the diet was studied using a three-day food report completed by the participants' parents.
A total of 80 children completed the study (40 in each group). No significant difference was observed in any of the weight composition indices measured before and after the intervention between the study groups (P > 0.05). No significant difference was reported in the systolic and diastolic blood pressure between the study groups at the baseline. However, diastolic blood pressure increased in the DASH group significantly compared to the control group (P = 0.02).
The DASH diet might increase the diastolic blood pressure in children with ADHD. Further studies with a longer follow-up period are necessary to confirm these results.
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