Girls with ADHD have twice as much high risk of developing obesity during adulthood than those without the disorder
Girls who suffer attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in their childhood are at high risk of being obese in later years, according to a new research.
Researchers from Mayo Clinic have found that girls with ADHD have twice as much high risk of developing obesity during adulthood compared to those who do not have the disorder.
For the study, researchers involved 336 children diagnosed with ADHD who were born between 1976 and 1982 and compared them with 665 kids of same sex and age who were not having the disorder. Information about the weight, height and treatment of the participants were collected from medical records from 1976 to 2010.
Researchers have found that there is an association between ADHD and obesity in adult female.
“Females with ADHD are at risk of developing obesity during adulthood and stimulant medications used to treat ADHD do not appear to alter that risk.” Seema Kumar, researcher at Mayo Clinic Children’s Research Center and lead author of the study said.
ADHD is one of most common disorder that begins in childhood and often continues through adolescence and adulthood. Kids with the disorder find it difficult to stay focused and paying attention and controlling their behavior.
Researchers believe that the changes in mind which result in ADHD can also cause eating disorder and can force a person to eat more than normal. “Girls with ADHD may not be able to control their eating and may end up overeating. Because kids with ADHD don’t have impulse control, it may also play a role in this.” Kumar explained.
Interestingly, no such association has been observed in males because it has been said that boys with condition don’t often develop eating disorder.
“It is possible that there are differences in eating patterns with boys with ADHD or differences in the types of ADHD girls have.” Kumar said.
The research suggests that parents and physicians have to be proactive in monitoring eating habits of ADHD children and they should engage them in exercise or physical activity.
“One of the last things we want to do is create a panic,” said Dr. Brandon Korman from Nicklaus Children's Hospital in Miami who was not involved in the study. "ADHD is not a sentence for being obese, but these findings warrant a greater awareness. It's unhealthy expecting that this will happen, but it's a good thing to be aware of it."