Study Finds ADHD in Childhood Linked to Adult Obesity
By Linda Carroll
A typical boy with ADHD can appear to be in perpetual motion, but that activity doesn’t guarantee a healthy weight when he grows up. A long-term study released Monday finds that men diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder as children are twice as likely to be overweight or obese in adulthood as those who never had the disorder.
These findings, published in Pediatrics, may be surprising to parents because drugs such as Ritalin or Adderall used to treat ADHD can suppress appetite, said Dr. F. Xavier Castellanos, the study co-author and a professor of child and adolescent psychiatry at New York University.
“It’s not uncommon for kids treated with ADHD medications to be fairly thin,” Castellanos said. Because parents often worry that thinner boys won’t grow as tall, “sometimes [they] will encourage their boys to eat more.”
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