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For the Curious

See how changing a diet can help a child's concentration

Child psychiatrist, Professor Gregory Stores wrote: 'Persistent sleeplessness [hyperactivity] in children, including those with a learning disability, should not be seen as inevitable but as treatable and often preventable' and 'Allergies must also be added to the list of medical conditions that induce or aggravate children's sleep problems'. Wise words from an opinion leader in the field of child psychiatry, yet ten years earlier, eminent allergist Dr Harry Morrow Brown demonstrated the effectiveness of dietary manipulation by simply eliminating allergenic foods from children's diets.

Dr Morrow Brown, who sadly died in 2013 had extensive experience of the many effects of foods and dyes, such as tartrazine, on behaviour and wellbeing of children. The result of many of his dietary manipulations proved a remarkable improvement in behaviour and quality of life of vulnerable developing children. We are proud to reproduce some of Dr Morrow-Brown's work here

Below is Dr Morrow Brown's description of a patient's progress: "A paediatrician had dismissed this boy's problems as emotional and due to poor parenting. When first seen he would not allow a doctor to touch him, but after changing his diet he allowed blood to be taken from a vein without protest!"

Drawings before and after dietary manipulation.

Chris Mc G aged 5 years and his artwork before diet June-Aug 1987 Chris McG aged 5 yrs. Example of art work before diet June-Aug 1987

Following his exclusion diet

Chris Mc G age 5 years in December 1987, no potato, no milk, no gluten. Chris Mc G age 5 yrs December 87 No potato no milk no gluten

Paintings before and after his exclusion diet

Chris Mc G age 5 yrs  art work before diet June-Aug 1987

After a diet of no milk, no potatoes or gluten.

Chris Mc G age 5 yrs. March 88, No milk, no potato, no gluten

A further example of progress by Chris Mc G, now age 6 in March 1988

Chris Mc G, March 1988

Example of written work by two young patients before and after dietary manipulation

Katherine's writing at age 6 - poor concentration and headache after milk chocolate'


Fiona's writing age 6, dramatic improvements noted after milk avoidance


Dietary manipulation must always be under the clinical care of a qualified doctor

Please visit Dr Morrow Brown's website which was retained for public information by his family. for more information on allergy and intolerance to foods. Information on the effects of foods can be found on the Hyperactive Children Support Group at describing the effect foods and dyes can have on the behaviour and development of children.


1. Clinical Services for Sleep Disorder, Gregory Stores, Luci Wiggs, Arch. Dis. Child. 1998, Vol. 79:495-497

2. 'Sleep Disturbance in Children and Adolescents with Disorder of Development it's Significance and Management', Chapter 10, Sleep Disorders and Childhood Allergy. G. Stores, L Wiggs, 2001, ISSN:0069 4835. Cambridge University Press