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An Alternative History of Hyperactivity : Food Additives and the Feingold Diet

Smith, Matthew (2011) An Alternative History of Hyperactivity : Food Additives and the Feingold Diet. Critical issues in health and medicine . Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, NJ. ISBN 9780813550169

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Abstract

In 1973, San Francisco allergist Ben Feingold created an uproar by claiming that synthetic food additives triggered hyperactivity, then the most commonly diagnosed childhood disorder in the United States. He contended that the epidemic should not be treated with drugs such as Ritalin but, instead, with a food additive free diet. Parents and the media considered his treatment, the Feingold diet, a compelling alternative. Physicians, however, were skeptical and designed dozens of trials to challenge the idea. The resulting medical opinion was that the diet did not work and it was rejected. Matthew Smith asserts that those scientific conclusions were, in fact, flawed. An Alternative History of Hyperactivity explores the origins of the Feingold diet, revealing why it became so popular, and the ways in which physicians, parents, and the public made decisions about whether it was a valid treatment for hyperactivity. Arguing that the fate of Feingold's therapy depended more on cultural, economic, and political factors than on the scientific protocols designed to test it, Smith suggests the lessons learned can help resolve medical controversies more effectively.

Item type: Book
ID code: 32594
Keywords: hyperactivity, food additives, Feingold diet, medical history, Child Health. Child health services, History, Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health, History
Subjects: Medicine > Pediatrics > Child Health. Child health services
History General and Old World
Department: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (HaSS) > School of Humanities > History
Related URLs:
Depositing user: Pure Administrator
Date Deposited: 15 Aug 2011 10:17
Last modified: 06 Sep 2014 12:09
URI: http://strathprints.strath.ac.uk/id/eprint/32594

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