Childhood ADHD Linked to Obesity in Female Adults

Childhood ADHD Linked to Obesity in Female Adults
Childhood ADHD Linked to Obesity in Female Adults

A long-term study by Mayo Clinic has unveiled that girls, who are diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder as a child, are at an increased risk of becoming obese in adulthood. Girls as per the research are at double risk of becoming obese if they were diagnosed with ADHD in childhood.

Researchers did not find the same in boys. In the case of girls, whether or not the girls were put on the ADHD treatment, the association was found.

Study’s lead researcher Dr. Seema Kumar, pediatrician and researcher at the Mayo Clinic, was of the view that women with childhood ADHD are at risk of obesity as adults. The association does not change by stimulant medications used for the ADHD treatment.

During the study, from the years 1976 to 2010, researchers’ monitored 336 boys and girls diagnosed with ADHD during childhood and a control group of 665 children who did not receive ADHD diagnose, reports NH Voice News Agency.

Researchers found that women diagnosed with a hyperactive disorder as children were more than twice likely to develop obesity in adulthood than women who were not diagnosed. They said that there are some biological mechanisms underlying both obesity and ADHD that might have a role to play as the girls with ADHD were not able to control their eating.

Researchers have suggested that girls should be counseled as children following ADHD diagnosis. They need to learn how to avoid obesity by encouraging them to remain fit and active and follow a healthier diet.

Doctors should also become more responsive to the differences between boys and girls. In boys, ADHD means an excessive hyperactivity and girls have constant distraction and issues with depression. There is a need to take differences into account as otherwise ADHD could lead to misdiagnosing.

According to Kumar, boys with ADHD usually are hyperactive and burn more calories. While boys tend to act out, girls have higher likelihood to engage in eating behaviors.