An educator's perspective of Dr. Feingold's K-P (Kaiser- Permanents) elimination diet for hyperkinetic children and others
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Do evaluation of the literature and a regional observational report support Dr. Feingold's claim that the K-P (Kaiser-Permanente) elimination diet improves the behaviours of hyperkinetic children, and others? Dr. Feingold suggests that some hyperkinetic children, and other children as well, are genetically predisposed to intolerance of food additives, particularly food colours and flavours. He claims that the K-P diet, that eliminates salicylates and artificial food colours and flavours, improves the hyperkinetic child's behaviour, muscle co-ordination, and scholastic performance. Public acceptance of the K-P diet has outstripped acceptance in the medical and scientific communities. Evaluation of available data and additional studies are needed to arrive at a conclusion of acceptance or rejection of the K-P diet for hyperkinetic children and others. My interest in the K-P elimination diet for hyperkinetic children is educational. My experience as an elementary school teacher in special education and in the classroom from K-8 has taught me that attentiveness is crucial to learning. Hyperkinesis appears to impair a child's ability to attend. Learning problems appear, followed by behavioural and social problems. l If we accept the possibility of a relationship between diet and attentiveness, and attentiveness and school behaviours, then the diet-behaviour link could be of lay importance. For instance, if a diet such as the K-P diet could do what is claimed, substantial benefits could accrue to the child. One could, for example, improve a child's behaviours. One could identify attending disturbances early in the child's education, possibly minimizing, or eliminating future difficulties in school. Finally, the greatest benefit may be the fulfillment of the basic goal of our Ontario schools, that the eh~ld-,lIla1p.evelop happily and competently within our educational framework. 2 This thesis reports evidence from the literature and from a regional observational investigation to determine the possibility of a link between the behaviours of children and Dr. Feingold's K-P elimination diet. The literature research examines (1) Dr. Feingold's concept of H-LD, (2) his K-P elimination diet, and (3) the response from three sectors, medicine, science, and the public. The regional investigation examines the observed behaviours of nine children in Regional Niagara during a nine-month period on the K-P diet.