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ADHD Might Raise Kids' Obesity Risk
Date:7/7/2008

Parents should be aware of small risk for those not on meds, expert says

MONDAY, July 7 (HealthDay News) -- Children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are at a 50 percent higher risk for being overweight if they are not taking medication for the condition, a new study finds.

On the other hand, youngsters who were medicated for ADHD had a raised risk of being underweight, the same researchers found.

"In light of these findings, children and adolescents with ADD/ADHD should be monitored for overweight and underweight/weight loss. By monitoring weight status of these youth, clinicians will be better prepared to prevent the development of childhood obesity and the negative physical health and psychosocial consequences," the researchers concluded.

The report is published in the July issue of Pediatrics.

In the study, researchers Molly E. Waring and Kate L. Lapane, from the department of community health at Brown Medical School in Providence, R.I., collected data on almost 63,000 children and adolescents, aged 5 to 17. The data came from the 2003-2004 U.S. National Survey of Children's Health.

The researchers found that children with ADHD who were not taking medication for the condition had a 1.5 times higher risk of being overweight, compared with children, who did not have ADHD. Conversely, children with ADHD who were on medication for the condition had a 1.6 times greater risk of being underweight, the study found.

But some experts don't find the ADHD-weight connection all that convincing.

Dr. David L. Katz, director of the Prevention Research Center at Yale University School of Medicine, notes that because childhood obesity and ADHD are both widespread, it is to be expected that some ADHD children will be obese.

"Both ADHD and obesity are highly prevalent among children and adolescent in the U.S. One would expect considerable ov
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