Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Childhood ADHD Associated With Adult Obesity, Study Finds

Men who were diagnosed as children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) were more likely to have a higher body mass index (BMI) and higher rates of obesity than men without childhood ADHD, according to a study published in the June issue of Pediatrics. Childhood ADHD in a group of 111 boys, compared with 111 controls without ADHD, predicted higher BMI and obesity rates at age 41. The difference was especially clear among men with remitted—but not persistent—ADHD, said Samuele Cortese, M.D., Ph.D., of Italy’s Verona University, and colleagues. The study requires additional replication on larger populations before  policy changes can be suggested, they said.

Poor control of inhibition and aversion to delay in the children diagnosed with ADHD “may foster poor planning and difficulty in monitoring eating behaviors,” hypothesized the authors. Other possible explanations may involve dysfunctional fronto-striatal dopaminergic pathways common to both obesity and ADHD, they said. “The long-term risk for obesity should be considered when managing children for ADHD,” they concluded.

To read more about ADHD in adults, see Psychiatric News here. Also see Understanding and Treating Adults With Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder from American Psychiatric Publishing.

(Image: JM Gelpi/


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