Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Children with ADHD have higher risk of teenage obesity, physical inactivity

Date:
March 4, 2014
Source:
Imperial College London
Summary:
Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are more likely to become obese and sedentary teenagers, according to new research. Previous studies have suggested a link between ADHD and obesity, but whether one leads to the other is unclear. Conduct disorder, a condition related to ADHD and linked to tendencies towards delinquency, rulebreaking and violence, was also found to increase risk of obesity and physical inactivity among teens.

Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are more likely to become obese and sedentary teenagers, according to new research.

Related Articles


Previous studies have suggested a link between ADHD and obesity, but whether one leads to the other is unclear. One way to better understand the link is to follow children through to adolescence.

The new study, which followed almost 7000 children in Finland, found that those who had ADHD symptoms at age eight had significantly higher odds of being obese at age 16. Children who had ADHD symptoms were also less physically active as teenagers.

Researchers from Imperial College London reported the findings in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

ADHD affects two to five per cent of school-aged children and young people in the UK and is related to poor school performance. The main symptoms are inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsivity. ADHD is complex to diagnose, but screening questionnaires can give an indication of a probable diagnosis, based on a child's behaviour.

Conduct disorder, a condition related to ADHD and linked to tendencies towards delinquency, rulebreaking and violence, was also found to increase risk of obesity and physical inactivity among teens.

The nine per cent of children in the study who had positive results on an ADHD screener at age 8 were at higher risk of obesity at age 16. Senior author, visiting Professor Alina Rodriguez, from the School of Public Health at Imperial College London, said: "Obesity is a growing problem that we need to watch out for in all children and young people, but these findings suggest that it's particularly important for children with ADHD.

"It appears that lack of physical activity might be a key factor. We think encouraging children with ADHD to be more physically active could improve their behavior problems as well as helping them to stay a healthy weight, and studies should be carried out to test this theory."

Furthermore, children who were less inclined to take part in physically active play as 8 year-olds were more likely to have inattention as teenagers. Binge eating, which was also investigated as a possible factor that could contribute to the link with obesity, was not more prevalent in children with ADHD.

According to Public Health England around 28% of children aged 2 to 15 are overweight or obese. Obesity in childhood and adolescence is linked to a wide variety of short- and long-term health risks, including type 2 diabetes, heart and circulatory disease, and mental health conditions.

The study used questionnaires completed by parents and teachers to assess 6934 children for ADHD and conduct disorder symptoms at ages eight and 16.

Body mass index was calculated based on parents' reports of their children's height and weight at age seven. At age 16, the participants had health examinations that recorded their height, weight, waist and hip measurements.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Imperial College London. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Natasha Khalife, Marko Kantomaa, Vivette Glover, Tuija Tammelin, Jaana Laitinen, Hanna Ebeling, Tuula Hurtig, Marjo-Riitta Jarvelin, Alina Rodriguez. Childhood Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Symptoms Are Risk Factors for Obesity and Physical Inactivity in Adolescence. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 2014; DOI: 10.1016/j.jaac.2014.01.009

Cite This Page:

Imperial College London. "Children with ADHD have higher risk of teenage obesity, physical inactivity." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140304094529.htm>.
Imperial College London. (2014, March 4). Children with ADHD have higher risk of teenage obesity, physical inactivity. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140304094529.htm
Imperial College London. "Children with ADHD have higher risk of teenage obesity, physical inactivity." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140304094529.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) According to research out of the University of Pennsylvania, waking up for work is the biggest factor that causes Americans to lose sleep. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins