Kids with ADHD More Likely to Have a Binge Eating Disorder

According to research conducted at John Hopkins Children’s Center, there is a strong connection between children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and the food they eat. They’re more likely to have a binge eating disorder.

Previous research done on ADHD and a person’s diet had revealed that a good diet with balanced portions of protein-rich foods can optimize brain function. But this research sheds some light on children with ADHD and their eating habits.

The study was published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders and found that children with ADHD are more likely to have loss of control eating syndrome (LOC-ES), a condition more generally diagnosed only in adults. The findings suggest a common biological mechanism linking the two disorders, and the potential for developing treatment that works for both, researchers said. Though many children with ADHD may lose weight when treated with the stimulant drugs regularly prescribed to control it, ADHD also has been associated with overweight and obesity in this population, said study leader Shauna P Reinblatt, assistant professor in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Children with ADHD who also have LOC-ES might have a more severe form of ADHD marked by more impulsive behaviour that particularly manifests in their eating patterns, Reinblatt said. Alternatively, children with both ADHD and LOC-ES might have a shared underlying risk factor, such as a genetic predisposition to impulsivity.

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