The research, published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders, demonstrates the possibility of a common biological mechanism linking the two disorders, and the potential for developing a treatment that works for both.
Although many children with ADHD lose weight when treated with the stimulant drugs typically prescribed to control it, ADHD has been also linked to being overweight or obese in this population, said study leader Shauna P. Reinblatt, M.D., assistant professor in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
The reason for this link, has remained unclear, but experts have suspected a connection between the typical impulsivity of ADHD and dysregulation or loss of control over appetite and eating.
For the study, researchers analyzed 79 children between the ages of eight and 14 from the greater Baltimore area. Each participant underwent assessment that included objective measures and interviews.