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12th Apr 2024

Joe Wicks under fire over ‘harmful’ ADHD comments

Kat O'Connor

Joe Wicks claimed processed food is linked to ADHD

Fitness influencer, Joe Wicks has been hit with major backlash after claiming that processed foods were linked to ADHD.

During an interview on the podcast Headliners, Wicks claimed that a poor diet can cause ADHD.

He said: “I was never diagnosed as ADHD but I think nowadays there’s this common thing that every child seems to be being diagnosed.

“I think a lot of it can stem back to the foods that we’re eating. Although I live in a very different world now, of a house that can afford nice food, as a kid I was 95% ultra-processed food,” he explained.

The comments have understandably been met with waves of outrage from the public with many saying the fitness instructor has no right to speak out about ADHD as he isn’t qualified.

One user wrote: “Joe Wicks come out and said ultra-processed foods are responsible for the spike in ADHD diagnoses in children… This is categorically untrue and harmful. He should come out and apologise, and leave it to the experts.”

Another said: “Joe Wicks saying that ADHD is caused by processed food has given me a right giggle this morning, the confidence of a man with ZERO neurological training is unmatched.”

Joe Wicks is one of many online personalities who think they can share health and wellbeing advice online despite the fact that they have no qualifications.

Wicks is not a medical professional, or a scientist, or researcher, so why does he feel like he can make such outlandish statements about the ADHD community?

“It’s misleading and undermines the very real difficulty of living with the life-long condition ADHD”

ADHD UK slammed his careless remarks with many agreeing that they were incredibly harmful.

Dr. Max Davie said his claims are not true.

“There is absolutely no evidence that any particular diet, including ultra-processed food, has any role in the development of ADHD symptoms and to suggest otherwise is a gross distortion of the facts.”

CEO of ADHD UK, Henry Shelford added:

“It was really disappointing to hear Joe Wicks linking a processed food diet to ADHD. Joe is a force for so much good but on this, he is abjectly wrong. His core point that a good diet can help people in so many ways is absolutely correct.

“But diet good, bad or ugly won’t make you have ADHD or make you not have ADHD.

“To suggest that swapping sweets for a plate of veggies is all that is needed to ‘fix’ someone with ADHD is both wrong and damaging. It’s misleading and undermines the very real difficulty of living with the life-long condition ADHD.”

We couldn’t agree with the team at ADHD UK more. Joe Wicks’ words are nothing but harmful, insulting, and simply untrue.

We desperately need influencers to stop using their platforms to share harmful opinions and empty advice. They’re not the experts the public should be turning to when it comes to things like ADHD.