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History and hyperactivity : the Feingold diet

Smith, Matthew (2008) History and hyperactivity : the Feingold diet. HistoryandPolicy.org.

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Abstract

In 1974 a self-help book written by Ben F. Feingold (1899-1982) entitled Why Your Child is Hyperactive arrived on the shelves of book stores across North America. On the surface, Feingold's book was not particularly exceptional. By the mid 1970s hyperactivity (known today as Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD) was the most commonly diagnosed childhood psychiatric disorder, estimated to affect at least five per cent of children. Countless other self-help books, medical texts and journal articles addressed hyperactivity, and the media regularly showcased the disorder on television talk shows, call-in radio programmes and in newspaper stories.