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The Link Between Diet and Behavior

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Dr. Markham,

I was on the Feingold member's board this morning, and someone there said you wanted to hear how Feingold had impacted our life. Then I went to your website, and saw the letters from all those families who had such troubled little kids! I hope and pray you tell each one of them to try adjusting their children's diets. So many of their tantrums, aggression, sleep problems, even suicidal thoughts can be eliminated by the Feingold diet!

I have nine children, ages 2-30. The middle three are all adopted and have special needs. We began the Feingold diet in 2003, after seeing the response (hyperactivity, behavioral issues) of two of my kids (1 bio, 1 adopted) to all the corn syrup in the Halloween candy (I knew it was not artificial ingredients that caused the problem, because I had used all natural candy to trade my kids for the stuff they collected). Although Feingold does not specifically eliminate corn syrup, products containing CS are mentioned in the food guide, so families can avoid it, since it is known to cause so many problems.

Anyway, within three days of beginning the program, my daughter was suddenly CALM for the first time in her whole life! This child, adopted from Russia at 5 months (and started the diet at about 8 years old), has Mosaic Down Syndrome, ADHD, SID, Sydenham's Chorea (a post-strep neurological disorder), possible FAE, and Hyperthyroidism. She is VERY bright, but has serious trouble with impulsivity, and had a LOT of hyper behaviors. She was CALM.

My bio son, who was then about 4, had a more subtle response. I saw just how dramatic it really was, though, when he ingested things we had eliminated on the new diet. Red apples, green grapes, and artificial colors sent him straight through the roof, in minutes! Then we KNEW.

The Feingold diet is NOT "difficult", as many "professionals" have said,when trying to discourage families from trying the diet, instead of using their medications. It DOES work the majority of the time, despite what some families have said, who SAID they tried the diet, but who really didn't totally follow the program so they saw little to no results. What IS difficult is having an out of control child. What is difficult is drugging up your child and having them experience the side effects. Choosing a different brand of ice cream is NOT difficult.

Please spread the word about Feingold to anyone you come in contact with! It has given our children what they deserve--to function at the highest level of their ability, without drugs or labels put on them. Our family is more peaceful. And I feel WONDERFUL as a parent that I now have control over many of my family's issues, where I felt helpless before.

Thanks for listening!

Marilyn Rose
mom of nine REALLY interesting kids!


Thanks so much for taking the time to write. There is strong scientific evidence that food coloring, some other additives, and pesticide intake from ordinary foods is correlated with ADHD. Here's a CNN article on the pesticide/ADHD link.

Jane Hersey's book Why Can't My Child Behave?: Why Can't She Cope? Why Can't He Learn?  explains why some kids really can't control their behavior when they eat certain things. Even some natural foods without additives, like wheat or some fruits, can be problematic for some kids.

I hear over and over from parents that their children calm down and stop tantrumming

so much once certain foods are removed from their diets. For parents who are struggling with out of control kids, is certainly worth checking out the

Feingold diet at It doesn't work for all kids, but when it does work, I hear it's like a miracle.

Thanks again for writing, and enjoy your full house!
Dr. Laura


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Dr. Laura Markham is the author of three best-selling books

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