Food and Behaviour Research

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Body Weight and ADHD: Examining the Role of Self-Regulation

Choudhry Z, Sengupta SM, Grizenko N, Harvey WJ, Fortier MÈ, Schmitz N, Joober R. (2013) PLoS One.  8(1) e55351. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0055351. Epub 2013 Jan 29. 

Web URL: View this and related abstracts via PubMed here. Free full text of this article is available online.

Abstract:

OBJECTIVE:

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a complex and heterogeneous childhood disorder that often coexists with other psychiatric and somatic disorders. Recently, a link between ADHD and body weight dysregulation has been reported and often interpreted as impaired self-regulation that is shared between the two conditions. The objective of this study is to investigate the relation between body weight/BMI and cognitive, emotional and motor characteristics in children with ADHD.

METHODS:

284 ADHD children were stratified by weight status/BMI according to WHO classification and compared with regard to their neurocognitive characteristics, motivational style, and motor profile as assessed by a comprehensive battery of tests. All comparisons were adjusted for demographic characteristics of relevance including, socioeconomic status (SES).

RESULTS:

Both Obese and overweight ADHD children exhibited significantly lower SES compared to normal weight ADHD children. No significant differences were observed between the three groups with regards to their neurocognitive, emotional and motor profile.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our findings provide evidence that differences in weight/BMI are not accounted for by cognitive, motivational and motor profiles. Socio-economic characteristics are strongly associated with overweight and obesity in ADHD children and may inform strategies aimed at promoting healthier weight.