Cover image for Feeding the brain : how foods affect children
Feeding the brain : how foods affect children
Conners, C. Keith.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Plenum Press, [1989]

Physical Description:
x, 277 pages ; 22 cm
Reading Level:
1340 Lexile.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
RJ386.5 .C66 1989 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



In this ground-breaking book, Dr. C. Keith Conners, a world-renowned authority on children's mental health, reveals startling new evidence on the critical impact foods can have on a child's behavior and even I.Q.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Can certain foods really improve brain function? Do food additives cause hyperactivity? Is sugar bad for kids? How safe is Nutrasweet, and can it cause brain damage? These are some of the questions Conners addresses, questions the popular press has just started to raise but that Conners has entertained for years while studying the effect of food on behavior, with a special emphasis on hyperactivity. His approach is unlike journalism's--careful, scientific, nonsensational--and his conclusions are sometimes startling. He makes clear that nutrition has enormous effect on mental growth, much greater than previously thought. Although eating well will not, he maintains, make an Einstein of a kid with normal natural intelligence potential, it will help him or her maximize brain power and I.Q. Conners tends to be academic in approach and style, yet is quite readable for interested parents and educators. References; to be indexed. --Mary Ellen Sullivan

Library Journal Review

Ignore the alarmist title! A prominent neuropsychiatrist reviews and interprets a broad spectrum of experimental scientific studies on the interaction of food and behavior in infants and children. Included are classic studies on sugar, hyperactivity and aggression, breakfast composition, artificial sweeteners, critiques of fads (the Feingold diet, and megavitamin therapy), and general issues, e.g., food allergies. Conners's ``Behavior Problem Checklist'' integrates research with practice, providing parents with specific at-home procedures for evaluating and improving food-behavior effects. Recommended for public libraries.-- Elizabeth Fielder Olson, Archer & Greiner, Haddonfield, N.J. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Food, Mind, and Behaviorp. 1
Beliefs and Emotions about Foodp. 1
Food and the Brainp. 6
Food and the World around Usp. 7
Problems in Studying Food and Behaviorp. 9
Behavior Patterns in Childrenp. 16
Chapter 2 Hyperactivity and Artificial Sweetenersp. 25
A Case of Severe Reaction to Aspartamep. 25
The NutraSweet (Aspartame) Storyp. 28
A Controlled Case Study with Aspartamep. 38
Dieting and Aspartamep. 47
Other Controlled Trials of Aspartame in Childrenp. 49
Summaryp. 52
Chapter 3 The First Meal of the Dayp. 55
Does Eating Breakfast Matter?p. 55
Supplementing Breakfastp. 57
Paying Attentionp. 64
Breakfast and Hyperactive Childrenp. 68
Breakfast and Hypoglycemiap. 70
Conclusions on Breakfastp. 71
Chapter 4 Sugar and Its Effects on Behavior and Moodp. 75
What Is Sugar?p. 77
Sugar, Hyperactivity, and Attention Deficits in Childrenp. 79
Dietary Intake of Sugar and Behavior in Childrenp. 80
Why Scientists Disagree about Sugar and Behaviorp. 82
The Cause and Effect Problemp. 84
Studying Sugar Effects by Adding It to the Dietp. 87
Hormones, Sugar, and Breakfastp. 93
Some Speculations about Brain Growth and Sugarp. 94
Are All Carbohydrates Equal?p. 97
Summaryp. 98
Chapter 5 Food and Violencep. 101
Hyperactivity, Aggression, Alcohol, and Criminalityp. 103
Diet and Killer Micep. 105
Hypoglycemia and Crimep. 106
Societies That Killp. 108
Blood Sugar and Aggressive Fantasy in Normal Adultsp. 111
Hypoglycemia and Violent Offendersp. 114
Diet and Aggression in Prisonp. 118
Conclusionsp. 120
Chapter 6 Diet, IQ, and Learningp. 123
What is IQ?p. 123
Studying Food and IQ in Childrenp. 128
Malnutrition and IQp. 130
Mother's Diet and IQ in Her Childrenp. 132
Diet and IQ in Young Childrenp. 134
Diet and IQ in Older Childrenp. 136
Tired Blood and IQp. 139
Heavy Metalp. 144
Nutrition and IQ: What Should We Do?p. 152
Chapter 7 Food Additives and Food Allergiesp. 157
Food Additivesp. 157
Feingold's Theory of Food Additives and Hyperactivityp. 158
Food Allergyp. 176
Advice on Changing Behavior with Dietp. 184
Chapter 8 Megavitaminsp. 187
What Are Vitamins and Megavitamins?p. 188
Orthomolecular Psychiatry and Biochemical Individualityp. 189
Megavitamins and Schizophreniap. 192
Megavitamins and Hyperactivityp. 195
Childhood Autismp. 204
Mental Retardationp. 207
Where Do We Go from Here with Megavitamins?p. 208
Chapter 9 Eating Disorders and Stress in Childrenp. 211
Eating Disorders in Childrenp. 211
The Experience of Stressp. 221
How Stress Affects the Body and Brainp. 223
Food and Stressp. 226
Stimulant Drugs, Sugar, and Proteinp. 230
Conclusionsp. 232
Chapter 10 Tracking Food, Mood, and Behavior in Childrenp. 235
Observing and Rating Childrenp. 235
Doing Experiments at Homep. 245
Chapter 11 Conclusionsp. 249
Food Changes Brain Neurotransmittersp. 249
Foods Protect the Brainp. 252
Food and the Developing Brainp. 253
Ideas and Emotions Control Nutritionp. 254
The Science of Food and Behaviorp. 254
Notesp. 257
Indexp. 263