Does corn cause hyperactivity in kids?

Having just read this staff report and seen it’s a product of the Straight Dope Science Advisory Board, I then went back to the main page to see the link to said staff report has “(by Cecil Adams)” next to it, when it’s not by the Perfect Master at all.

False advertising, or am I imagining this?

Ah, sorry - link.

Sorry, I started a thread on the same topic while you were starting this one. I apologize most sincerely. It seems I was not the only one baffled to see such a claim at the Straight Dope.

No, corn does not cause ADHD. At best, I suppose if a kid has trouble digesting it, it could temporarily make the kid a little irritable from the abdominal distention, but that’s about it. It’s baloney, and I’m very disappointed in the Straight Dope for promoting the idea that diet alone can cure neurological problems – and especially for giving free advertising to the debunked Feingold Diet.

calliarcale - I think both threads can probably stand, as yours actually deals with the content of the staff report and mine is only a comment on its labelling. I would have put this thread in MPSIMS, but this forum seemed more appropriate.

I also have ADD and have done excessive research over the last 3 years of having the disorder (I actually have had it all my life but only managed to garner a diagnosis 4 years ago). The Feingold diet (as previously mentioned) has been well refuted as effective. All double blind placebo controlled studies have turned out no results except for precious few that were actually substance intolerance. The Feingold diet is based around the premise that salicylates (a group of chemicals of which Asprin is a synthetic one) disrupt the thinking processes and neurological development of children. The problem is, that when the diet is analyzed closely, you will find that many compounds that are allowed and profoundly high in salicylate chemicals or derivatives as well as the fact that many foods that are restricted have absolutely no chemical basis (based on his premise for the diet) for being restricted! It is junk science…if you wish to know more, you can read a wonderful article written by Dr. Stephen Barrett at

The labelling was a typo, that has been fixed. The Report is by SDStaff Ken, not by Cecil.

Since there’s another thread about the Feingold Diet, let’s please keep this one focused on corn.

OK, I’m not sure whether this belongs here, but I’ll post my comments on sugar and kids’ behavior. I read Cecil’s column on the subject several years ago, stating that it’s not the sugar, it’s the caffeine, so I never worried about sugar.

However, I have noticed something related to sugar. You know how if you get too much sugar, your body makes too much insulin, which then takes your blood sugar too low and you feel bad? I think that’s what happens with my kids - they feel bad and get cranky. Not ADHD, or even hyperactive, but just harder for them to control themselves because they’re cranky.