In 1965 Dr. Ben F. Feingold, using the allergy diet designed by Dr. Lockey of the Mayo Clinic, began his observations of the link between certain foods and additives and their effect on some individuals’ behavior and ability to learn. From the time he first presented his findings to the American Medical Association in June, 1973, he called upon the scientific community to research and test his hypothesis. But the science of the biochemical basis for behavior was in its infancy, and Dr. Feingold knew it would be decades before details of the relationship between foods and behavior would be fully understood.
But families couldn’t wait twenty or thirty years; they needed help then, as they do now. Dr. Feingold viewed his most important role as that of clinician — a physician who offers practical assistance to the troubled patient. He developed a technique that could dramatically help more than half of the children and adult patients he saw — a program that was relatively simple to use, not expensive, and presented no harmful side effects.
Despite the hundreds of families helped in his practice and thousands helped through correspondence, Dr. Feingold was deeply troubled about the millions of families he could not possibly reach. Thus, at an age when most men retire from their profession, Dr. Feingold traveled throughout the United States and the world to bring his findings to the attention of the public and professionals, and to encourage the formation of support groups, from which a national association evolved.
On a personal level he was always delighted to receive notes and pictures from the many he had never seen but had helped so profoundly. Their pictures decorated his office and he often referred to them as “my kids.”