Fed Up: Understanding How Food Affects Your Child and What You Can Do About It


When two committed adults marry, they reasonably expect to have happy and successful children. My husband and I were surprised when our children encountered difficulties right from the start. Although we were assured by teachers that they would 'grow out of it', they didn't. Both struggled to learn skills we had found easy and by the time our daughter was seven we were perplexed by her behaviour, which was ...
See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (9) from $2.47   
  • New (2) from $72.55   
  • Used (7) from $2.47   
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
Seller since 2008

Feedback rating:



New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.


Ships from: Chicago, IL

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Seller since 2015

Feedback rating:


Condition: New
Brand new.

Ships from: acton, MA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Sort by
Sending request ...


When two committed adults marry, they reasonably expect to have happy and successful children. My husband and I were surprised when our children encountered difficulties right from the start. Although we were assured by teachers that they would 'grow out of it', they didn't. Both struggled to learn skills we had found easy and by the time our daughter was seven we were perplexed by her behaviour, which was sometimes charming and creative, at other times restless and defiant.

The mystery deepened when we considered my husband Howard's two older children as well. By 15 his daughter was failing in half her school subjects, while his son at 13 could not read well enough to keep up with his class. Yet their mother had a postgraduate degree, Howard was a research scientist with a doctorate and I was a former English teacher with a degree in psychology. Howard and three of the children were diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder which explained but did not solve the problem.

After years of searching for answers, we discovered a remarkable reason for their difficulties. Most of their troubles were caused by foods they ate every day. All six members of our family experienced unexpected benefits when we made a change in our eating habits, based on new research. Behaviour, mood swings, intelligence or health improved in everyone. In the most dramatic case, our daughter's oppositional behaviour vanished and her school marks, like her measured IQ, jumped from below average to well above. We soon found our children weren't the only ones in the world affected in this way.

'Kids have changed', says a primary school principal with 34 years of teaching experience. 'You see them arriving at school angry or unhappy. They stay like that all day . I used to think it was television, or a problem with the parents. But you have to look at food, They come to school eating junk, and when you ask "why are you eating that?", they answer, "it's my breakfast."' In a society where rages and suicide are on the increase it is worth taking seriously this observation about angry and unhappy children.

Different Kids

Since my first book, Different Kids, my interests have extended beyond the attention deficit hyperactivity disorders which affect 3-5 per cent of the population, to the irritable, restless and inattentive behaviours in much greater numbers of children. An estimated 15 per cent of school children are badly enough affected to place them at risk for literacy and numeracy problems. I am disappointed that most health professionals emphasise medication and dismiss the role of food in disruptive behaviours, especially since studies have been unable to demonstrate long-term benefits of medication. By comparison, families using dietary management in the long term report improvement in self-control, which is the single biggest predictor of success in adult life.

As author, support group leader, editor of the national newsletter about ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), food intolerance counsellor, and more recently as a researcher into the food-behaviour connection, I have talked to thousands of families whose children have difficulties with learning or behaviour. Some families, like mine, had realised that foods were a problem but were not sure of which ones. Others had not seen the food connection. There were also some, like this mother from Italy, who had not even realised that there was a problem: 'He used to be so unbearable that I would make myself scarce; we were often at different ends of the house to get away from each other. Yet I wouldn't have said he was abnormal. Now the real, nice, intelligent person has come out. It is worth a few sacrifices, even for me!'

People have to be desperate before they will change their lifestyle and difficult children make mothers desperate. This book is full of their stories. The majority of women spoke of seeking help from health professionals, only to be discouraged or rejected because 'food has nothing to do with children's behaviour', 'foods only affects a few, so it's not worth trying', 'it's too difficult, I wouldn't bother', 'your child is too young (or too old) to do an elimination diet'. Many were given the wrong information, such as an out-of-date diet, or advice such as 'don't worry about sticking to it too strictly.'

Others were glad they ignored their doctor's or dietitian's advice and went ahead with an elimination diet but most needed more information and support than were available. Overwhelmingly, people were amazed to find that sugar by itself was not a problem and that foods like fruit which were perceived as healthy often caused a bad reaction. The mother of a nine year old reported: 'I had my son on a diet free of junk food and high in fruits and vegetables for four years and it turned out I was doing all the wrong things for him. Some natural foods are just as bad for him as the lollies and soft drinks.'

Health professionals tell us that 'only a small subgroup of children' are affected by foods. I do not agree. Theoretically, anyone can react to food chemicals if the dose is high enough, and the doses are increasing every year. People assume they will know if they react to foods, because they will see an immediate reaction. This is wrong. Most food reactions are delayed. They are not an allergic reaction, but the side-effects of food chemicals. Everyone knows that drugs can have side-effects, but few people are aware that both artificial and natural chemicals in foods can cause the same reactions. Like the side-effects of drugs, side-effects of food chemicals are often misinterpreted.

Food scientists estimate that it takes 30 years to notice the effects of a national change in diet. There have been enormous changes in our lifestyle during that period. Party foods have become everyday foods, additives which did not even exist then are eaten frequently and flavour enhancers are common. Children and adults are affected in varying degrees by the changes in our diet, but these effects are mostly unrecognised or ignored. Hyperactive children are just the tip of the iceberg. Considering the marked rise in irritability in our society and that irritability and restlessness have been found to be the main symptom of behavioural food reactions, it seems likely that far more are affected in this way.

During this century, humans have been exposed to unprecedented quantities of industrial and agricultural chemicals which can provoke sensitivity to food chemicals. It is even possible that behavioural changes and learning disabilities due to chemical exposure can be inherited by the next generation. Changes in behaviour and learning ability are the first signs of chemical toxicity (see Notes), yet food chemicals are not tested for behavioural or learning effects before approval.

To protect our children and ourselves and to prevent a national decline in behaviour and learning standards, it makes sense to avoid the chemicals which are affecting us. Irritable, restless or inattentive behaviour, sleep disturbance, eczema, other itchy skin rashes, migraines, recurrent headaches, stomach discomfort, bloating, diarrhoea, reflux, colic, urinary urgency and asthma are some of the symptoms can be caused or aggravated by common foods. If you have any of the above problems or if you have ever seen, even once, a reaction to foods such as cordial, cola, alcoholic drinks, chocolate, savoury snack food or takeaways, then it is worth taking food chemicals seriously. Some people who are affected have never noticed a food reaction.

Fed Up will help you to discover which foods affect you. Through years of trial and error with my own family, the similar experiences of the thousands of families who have contacted me, and my research, I have discovered that the foods which I call 'failsafe' can help to improve the health and happiness of whole families. To find out how foods affect people, why food reactions are so difficult to identify, which foods are likely to cause problems, and how to manage the side-effects of foods, please read on ...

Read More Show Less

What People Are Saying

Author Sue Dengate throws a lifeline to frazzled parents who suspect an association between what their children eat and how they behave.
Melbourne Age
A reminder to all parents to take a closer look at what their children are eating.

Ever wondered about the numbers on food labels? This is a book that reveals many of the answers.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780091836986
  • Publisher: Random House Australia
  • Publication date: 9/1/1998

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)