A few months ago, I wrote how the media generates headlines designed to grab our attention but which increasingly oversimplify and distort the truth.
They’ve done it again. A USA Today headline January 9, 2012 claims “Study: Healthy Eating May Help Children with ADHD.” The first sentence states, “There’s limited evvidence that any particular diet or supplement helps kids with ADHD.” Later in the article, a pediatrician is quoted saying, “We don’t have data to suggest that there is little, if any, data to suggest dietary interventions are as effective as medications.” The overall conclusion is that a healthy diet of rish, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and fiber is better than a diet high in fat, salt, and refined sugars. Duh. What else is new?
Two days later, USA Today has another story, “ADHD: Diet Might Matter, but Less Than Many Parents Think.” This article summarizes the very same research showing minimal support for improvement in ADHD symptoms resulting from food diets or supplements. Notice how this headline minimizes the effects of food on ADHD symptoms.
These two headlines illustrate the power of headlines. The moral again: Don’t believe simplistic headlines or sound bytes. Be an intelligent consumer and read the whole story.