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Editor's NoteJun/Jul 2011 Issue

Diet Matters: Autism & Special Diets

Anyone watching the stats on the increasing incidence of certain childhood medical conditions—allergies, autism, diabetes, obesity, ADHD—knows it makes for grim news. Take a look at the latest figures on autism from the Centers for Disease Control: 1 in 110 children. When you break it down to just boys, CDC’s rate is 1 in 70. According to new research in the American Academy of Pediatrics journal, Pediatrics, the numbers are even more alarming. One in 91 kids, 1 in 58 boys.

If you’re looking for something positive to report, here it is: A special diet brings hope for recovery to countless scores of kids.

Yes, food matters. It’s that simple. And that important.

This issue, we take a serious look at the claims of tens of thousands of parents and a growing number of doctors about the healing power of the gluten-free, casein-free diet. In our special section on autism, leading biomedical expert Kenneth A. Bock, MD, talks frankly about his clinical experience in treating children on the autism spectrum (page 47). In addition, food coach and special-diet chef Sueson Vess (pages 43, 49) provides recipes and a tool kit of quick tips for getting your child started on a special diet.

It’s summer so, of course, we include some great-tasting, fun recipes for warm-weather dining. We refashion two all-time favorite foods (brownies, page 58, and waffles, page 54), replacing the no-no ingredients with alternatives for a variety of safe and delicious choices that everyone will enjoy.

We help you get out of the house with our restaurant guide and dining-out advice (page 18). And speaking of getting out, turn to page 32 where we map out a memorable trip for a truly patriotic Independence Day of sightseeing and eating in Washington, DC.

As summer settles in, we hope you’re settling in—and thriving—on your special diet. Eating right isn’t always easy. Believe me, we’re cheering for you. In fact, we are on our feet, applauding. Because despite all the extraordinary advances in medical treatment, your special diet remains key to your good health. The old adage, you are what you eat, has never rung so true.

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