Introduction Attention deficit hyperactivity disorders (ADHD) is one of the most common behavioral disorders in children. In comparison with healthy children, these children are proposed to have lower serum levels of essential fatty acids. This study was conducted to compare the intake of daily fats in ADHD children with that of healthy subjects.
Methods This cross-sectional study was performed on one hundred and eighty 9–11 years olds children (70 boys and 110 girls) in 23 elementary schools, city of Ahvaz. They were divided into 2 groups (90 children in each group) of ADHD and healthy subjects. Each student was given two different questionnaires. One about total dietary fat intake and the other one was a simple food frequency questionnaire. Severity of disorder was evaluated using a questionnaire designed by a psychologist.
Results ADHD children consumed more vegetable oils (OR = 3; CI: 1.4 to 6.7), sweet chocolate (OR = 2.4; CI: 1.3 to 4.6), and fatty mutton (OR = 2.7; CI: 1.4 to 5.7) than healthy children (p<0.05). Moreover, they ate more hydrogenated fats, french fries, chicken, cream cheese, cookies, mayonnaise sauce, sausages, burgers, and fried foods than normal children (p<0.05). There was no significant difference in consumption of dairy products, eggs, different kinds of fishes, shrimp, nuts, soy bean and olive oil between two groups.
Conclusion Children with ADHD used to eat more foods containing trans fatty acids than healthy subjects. Moreover, consumption of vegetable oil, chocolate, sweets and mutton are associated with higher severity of ADHD.