A new study has suggested that children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder are more likely than other children to also have loss of control eating syndrome – a condition similar to binge eating disorder.
The finding suggests the two conditions may share a common biological mechanism.
The research, published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders, could potentially lead to the development of treatment that works for both conditions.
Although many children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) lose weight when taking stimulant drugs to treat their condition, experts have found associations
between ADHD and overweight and obesity.
Data have also linked ADHD with adult binge eating disorder. However, there are limited data in children with loss of control eating syndrome (LOC-ES) – a condition that shares many of the same diagnostic criteria as binge eating disorder and is typified by an inability to stop eating at certain times.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that, as of 2011, approximately 11% of children in the US aged 4-17 (6.4 million) have been diagnosed with ADHD. The common behavioral disorder is characterized by hyperactivity, impulsive behavior and difficulty sustaining attention.
Experts believe that the cause of excessive weight in some children with ADHD may be attributable to a connection between the impulsivity that typifies ADHD and a loss of
control over food consumption.
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