The Hyperactive Children’s Support Group was a UK-based registered charity, founded by Sally Bunday MBE and her mother, Vicky Colquhoun, which successfully helped parents, carers and professionals dealing with hyperactivity and ADHD for over 45 years. The charity advocated a dietary approach to the problem of hyperactivity and was amongst the first to highlight the link between essential fatty acids and hyperactivity/ADHD.

The HACSG shared information related to food additives, food intolerance, omega fatty acids, vitamins & minerals and how they affect hyperactivity and ADHD as well as campaigning for the removal of preservatives, colourings and other additives from processed foods often eaten by children.

The HACSG closed its doors in April 2024. It's work, which made a huge difference to thousands of children, their families and carers, is conserved here so others may continue to benefit from its work and to preserve its legacy.

>>> Read the story behind the founding of The Hyperactive Children's Support Group

Sally was awarded an MBE in 2005 for her services to children, through her work with the HACSG.


Watch the latest interview in 2024 with Meleni Aldridge interviewing Prof. Neil Ward about his HACSG journey. It's a heartwarming tale of deep passion and commitment, filled with wisdom and love for a pioneering job well done.


Active or Hyperactive?

The Feingold Programme

What are Essential Fatty Acids?

It would be easy to label every healthy, lively child as hyperactive. So how do you tell the difference? (click here for more information)

Children should have good quality, nutritious fresh foods whenever possible. (click here for more information)

HACSG was the first to propose that fatty acid deficiency could be a factor in ADHD. (click here for more information)

About the Hyperactive Children’s Support Group (HACSG)

The Hyperactive Children’s Support Group was founded in 1977. For over 45 years it helped children and parents who were coping with hyperactivy/ADHD by offering ideas and information concerning the vital role diet and nutrition can play in their wellbeing and behaviour. It was one of the first organisations to draw attention to the link between ADHD and essential fatty acids.

Before the HACSG came into being, Sally Bunday had been trying to find answers to the hyperactive behaviour of her son for over 5 years after Miles was diagnosed severely hyperactive by a consultant psychiatrist when he was two and a half. In addition to the hyperactivity, Miles was also very thirsty, had repeated catarrh and was a very poor sleeper. The only things offered were medications which made him much, much worse. Then, a miracle! Sally chanced upon the work of Dr Ben Feingold in the USA. He proposed that hyperactivity in children could be aggravated by artificial colourings, flavours, certain other additives and salicylates (a naturally occurring aspirin-like chemical which is in many fruits and other fresh foods) found in many processed foods. Sally contacted Dr Feingold and he kindly sent his diet plan which was adopted straight away. Within a week of the dietary changes there was a vast improvement in Miles's behaviour. Things were altogether calmer, thirst diminished, catarrh stopped and sleep was greatly improved. The “wild look” had gone, everyone was amazed and it improved Sally’s family life beyond measure. Her health visitor was so amazed that she asked Sally to help other parents; that was the beginning of the HACSG.

>>> Read more about the history of the HACSG

>>> Download information on the role of EFAs and co-factors - “Essential Fatty Acids, Vitamins & Minerals and their role in ADHD/Hyperactivity

>>> The link between artifical food colourings and ADHD/hyperactivity

In 2022, the HACSG celebrated its 45th anniversary. Its original aim was to help families who were desperate for help to cope with hyperactive children (the terms ADHD didn't come from the USA until the late 1980’s) and to raise awareness about the importance of diet and the effect of artificial colourings on those with ADHD. The team didn’t expect to still be needed 45 years later!

Despite the plethora of research from around the globe, there's still a lack of recognition of the power of dietary changes and often disbelief that dietary changes can make such a profound difference to people's lives.

There have been many success stories along the way. Here are just a few from the HACSG website.

Parent and professional resources

The HACSG created two rich information resources for parents and professionals to understand how helpful making dietary changes can be for both children and adults with ADHD/Hyperactivity disorder. Since the charity closed its doors, they're no longer available as hard copies, but we have scanned versions of the two publications for you to download and share with others.

>>> Download the Brief Guide for Parents & Professionals to the dietary and nutritional approach to ADHD/Hyperactivity

>>> Download ADHD Hyperactive children - A Guide for Parents including symptoms, what to avoid and what to include from a dietary perspective

HACSG Medical and Scientific Advisors

The HACSG had the backing of a team of distinguished medical & scientific advisors, experienced in bio-chemical, nutritional & dietary approaches to well-being, who supported its work and approaches to hyperactivity and ADHD.

  • Prof. P.J. Barlow, MS., PhD, MIEH
    Lecturer in Food Safety & Nutrition
  • Prof. Eric Millstone
    Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex
  • C. Peter W. Bennett, BA (Hons), MA(Oxon), MBA (Aston)
    Consultant in Policing & Criminal Prosecution
  • Dr. Michael Radcliffe, MB, ChB, MRCGP
    General Practitioner
  • Dr. Stephen Davies MA, BM, BCb
    Nutritional Medicine
  • Dr. Damien Downing, MBSS
    Nutritional Medicine
  • Professor Neil Ward, BSc, MSc(Hons), PhD
    Senior Lecturer in Analytical Chemistry, Surrey University and HACSG Research Director
  • Dr. John McClaren Howard DSc, FACN
    Clinical Biochemist



The HACSG has been involved in many research opportunities over the years and collated some of the most notable early studies.

>>> The Colquhoun/Bunday Hypothese
Colquhoun I, Bunday S. A lack of essential fatty acids as a possible cause of hyperactivity in children. Med Hypotheses. 1981;7(5):673-9.

>>> The Hospital Study took place at St Johns Hospital, carried out by Dr Alan Franklin

>>> List of research articles

Listening to Children

One comment often heard from parents is that their ADHD child/ young person accuse them…’You Never Listen to Me’ …in fact, parents are worn out with ‘Listening’!

Sadly, children don’t understand that their parents struggle to ‘Listen’ to the constant chat. The HACSG team recognised that perhaps parents need a different approach and offered the following thoughts...

  • If someone is nagging about wanting to do something
    If you can say yes, do so, rather than be nagged more, but if you have to say no because it would be unsafe and not what you would allow you have to be firm and not give in to the nagging and appealing that goes on – of course, no-one said that it’s an easy approach!
  • Younger Children
    Try to answer their questions with a simple answer, rather than listening to them going on. If possible, set aside some time when questions and chat can be answered without having to cook a meal, drive or do something else which means a reply might cause difficulties. Try to find time for reading to your child in the evenings – It can give youngsters a chance to learn to listen and talk.
  • Older Children / Teens
    You may still find they accuse you of not listening to what they have to say – on other occasions you have a job to get a word out of them! The teen years can be a very trying time, add ADHD to that and it’s even harder! Teens can behave like an adult one minute and like a toddler the next.Make it clear you want to help and be involved, respect their views even if they are different to yours. Teenage years are a time of testing out opinions and people, including parents.Let your child know you are there to support them.Respect your child’s privacy; older children need their own space, time to themselves and the right not to communicate about everything in their lives, especially personal relationships.
  • If as a parent you feel that there is something wrong – don’t leave it
    Perhaps you feel that your child may not be telling you what is happening. We all know how children can be bullied, not just at school. For older children they can be strongly affected by social media.

Useful Links

>>> Click here to download a list of useful links and resources

>>> HACSG News and Articles

Presentations from Prof Neil Ward

>>> Bibliography of Prof Neil Ward's publications