Sir.—Recently, Dr Esther H. Wender discussed the controversy over the relationship of diet to hyperkinesis in children (Am J Dis Child 131:1204-1206, 1977). As she indicated, several recent studies have failed to document the Feingold thesis that food additives and salicylates play a major role in causing this disorder.
Yet, despite these negative results, an increasing number of observers report that hyperactive behavior can be modified by dietary manipulation. And a congressional committee and the media have given wide publicity to this point of view (Wall Street Journal, June 2, 1977, p 1; "MacNeil-Lehrer Report," Public Broadcasting System, June 22, 1977; "CBS Evening News," CBS Inc, June 22, 1977).
Moreover, the relationship of food sensitivity to systemic and nervous system symptoms in children has been described by numerous observers during the past 50 years.1-9
Nevertheless, many physicians remain skeptical—even hostile—to the concept that diet can affect behavior. A typical