Childhood ADHD and obesity linked
ADHD among American children continue to rise, as do obesity rates among U.S. adults and now a study has linked the two According to new research from the Child Study Center at New York University Langone Medical Center, men diagnosed with ADHD as children were twice as likely to be obese as adults than men who were not diagnosed with the condition.
The study included 207 white men diagnosed with ADHD at an average age of eight years old. It followed the group for decades, re-evaluating the patients when they were at an average age of 41. These patients were "matched" with 178 men who were not diagnosed with ADHD, but who had similar race, age, residence and social class. The study found that men with childhood ADHD had a higher Body Mass Index (BMI) than those who did not have the condition--30.1 for those with ADHD versus 27.6 for non-patients. Men with ADHD had significantly higher prevalence of obesity --41.1 percent as opposed to 21.6 percent in those who did not have ADHD.
According to CDC reports, ADHD is the most common mental health condition among children – affecting around seven percent of children, with more boys diagnosed than girls. Researchers believe that the lack of impulse control and poor planning skills –common symptoms of ADHD – may be the definitive factors leading to higher BMI and obesity rates.
The study appears in the May 20 online edition of Pediatrics.