Benjamin Feingold

Benjamin Feingold

Benjamin F. Feingold, M.D., (born June 15, 1899 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; died, March 23, 1982) was a pediatric allergist from California, who proposed in 1973 that salicylates, artificial colors, and artificial flavors cause hyperactivity in children. (Hyperactivity is now medically classified as attention deficit disorder [ADD] or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder [ADHD] ).



Dr Feingold received a BS degree in 1921, and an MD in 1924, from the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He performed his internship at Passavant Hospital, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania from 1924 to 1925. He did a fellowship in Pathology at the University of Goettingen, Germany in 1927. Between 1928 and 1929, he worked under Professor Clemens von Pirquet.

Professional career

Dr Feingold worked as the house officer at the children's clinic of the University of Vienna, Austria from 1928 to 1929. From 1929 to 1932, he was clinical instructor of Pediatrics at the Northwestern University School of Medicine. From 1932 to 1958, he worked as attending physician in Pediatrics and in Infectious Diseases at Los Angeles County General Hospital, Los Angeles, CA. He also worked as attending physician in Pediatrics at Cedars of Lebanon Hospital, Los Angeles, CA from 1932 to 1941, and at Los Angeles Children's Hospital from 1932 to 1951. He was Chief of Pediatrics at Cedars of Lebanon Hospital, Los Angeles, CA, and an Associate in Allergy at the Los Angeles Children's Hospital from 1945 to 1951. In 1951 he joined the Kaiser Foundation Hospital and Permanente Medical Group, and established all of the Departments of Allergy for Northern California. From 1952 to 1969 he was Kaiser's chief of Allergy, and the chairman of their central research committee.

Personal life

He married Lois Maxine Adler November 18, 1930. They had four children, Richard A, Frederic Robert, Ray Andrew, and Judith Ann all born in Los Angeles, California. From 1941 to 1945 he was a commander in the US Naval Reserve. He and Lois were divorced in 1950. He married Helene Samuels on June 21, 1951.


Besides numerous technical publications in the field of allergy and basic immunology, he published the books "Introduction to Clinical Allergy" [cite book
author=Feingold, B.F.
title=Introduction to clinical allergy
publisher=Charles C. Thomas
id=ISBN 0-398-02797-8
] , "Why your child is hyperactive" [cite book
author=Feingold, B.F.
title=Why Your Child is Hyperactive
publisher=Random House
id=ISBN 0-394-73426-2
] , and the "Feingold cookbook for hyperactive children" [cite book
author=Feingold, B.F.
title=The Feingold Cookbook for Hyperactive Children
publisher=Random House
id=ISBN 0-394-73664-8
] .

The Feingold diet

To treat or prevent hyperactivity, Feingold suggested a diet that was free of salicylates, artificial colors, artificial flavors, BHA, and BHT. There has been much debate about the efficacy of the diet, with many mainstream medical practitioners denying that it is of any use, while many people living with ADHD, parents of children with ADHD, and a large number of medical practitioners claim that it is effective in the management of ADHD and a number of other conditions. There is still debate on the issue in scientific circles. A new study by British researchers led by Jim Stevenson (University of Southampton) appear to confirm his theory.cite journal
author = McCann D, Barrett A, Cooper A, Crumpler D, Dalen L, Grimshaw K, Kitchin E, Lok K, Porteous L, Prince E, Sonuga-Barke E, Warner JO, Stevenson J.
year = 2007 Nov
title = Food additives and hyperactive behaviour in 3-year-old and 8/9-year-old children in the community: a randomised, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial.
journal = Lancet.
volume = 3;370(9598)
pages = 1560–7
pmid = 17825405

External links

* [ The Feingold Association website]
* [ Biography and archive of his publications]


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