ADHD and Obesity

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Story Updated: Mar 18, 2014

Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder may be at higher risk for childhood obesity.

New findings published in Pediatrics detail a review of 11 years of electronic health record data concerning nearly 164,000 boys and girls between the ages of 3 and 18.

The investigators observed that more than 8% of the kids were diagnosed with ADHD during the study time frame Body mass index (or BMI) patterns revealed that ADHD children left entirely untreated or simply not prescribed stimulant medications had faster increases in BMI in early childhood than kids without ADHD.

By contrast, ADHD children who were treated with stimulants initially showed slower BMI growth. But as they aged into adolescence, ADHD kids treated with stimulants experienced a notable weight spike.

The study team concluded that the stimulant treatment and BMI rebound effect- rather than the disorder itself- is/are more likely the culprit behind the higher obesity rates seen among pediatric ADHD patients.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with the news that can keep you and your loved ones safe, healthy, and happy.

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Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, a nonprofit independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association, is part of a family of companies that finances and delivers vital health care services to 1.8 million people across upstate New York. Excellus BlueCross BlueShield provides access to high-quality, affordable health coverage, including valuable health-related resources that our members use every day, such as cost-saving prescription drug discounts and wellness tracking tools in our Step Up program. To learn more, visit www.excellusbcbs.com