Department of Nutrition Student Projects

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Submission Date


Document Type

Undergraduate Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Human Nutrition (BSHN)

First Mentor

Andrea Charvet, Ph.D., RDN, LDN


hyperactivity, diet, mineral


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder marked by inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. ADHD presents difficulties for adolescents, affecting numerous areas of life. Recent research suggests a relationship between zinc deficiency and ADHD symptoms, encouraging interest in dietary interventions utilizing zinc. However, there is missing research regarding effects of zinc use for ADHD symptoms in young girls as the generalized research is geared toward boys who express ADHD characteristics differently. The objective of this study is to explore if zinc-rich diets may improve signs/symptoms in girls 13 to 17-years-old with ADHD. An intervention design will be adopted with randomized control and treatment groups each containing 200 unmedicated females recruited from all-girls high schools across the USA. Consent forms administration will transpire. Treatment groups will incorporate 100% zinc-fortified cereal for breakfast. The control group will receive non-fortified cereal. Data will be measured using ADHD-validated tests TOVA, filled out by participants, and the SNAP-IV Teacher and Parent Rating Scale, filled out by teachers/parents. Exams will be re-administered post-trials. We hypothesize that the zinc-fortified cereal group will have better response times, response consistency, lower commission errors, and lower omission errors in the TOVA exams compared to the control group. The SNAP-IV rating scale will express a decrease in inattention, hyperactivity, and opposition compared to the control group. Overall, the results will reveal improvements in symptoms of ADHD in 13 to 17-year-old girls. Clinical implications may include the use of a zinc diet prescription as a regular form of treatment.