#1 One In Three Porkers May Have ADHD. (Where are the chips....ice cream!)04-07-2009, 05:38 PMDrug given to hyperactive children could help obese adults lose weight
By Pat Hagan
Last updated at 8:02 AM on 07th April 2009
Comments (15) Add to My Stories
Ritalin, the drug used to treat hyperactive children, could hold the key to solving Britain's growing obesity crisis, according to research.
It shows as many as one in three severely obese adults who fail to lose weight through diet and exercise do so because they have undiagnosed Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
But once their condition has been treated with Ritalin or similar drugs, their dieting success rates improve dramatically.
Now doctors behind the latest findings are calling for those with severe weight problems to be screened for ADHD before they are even put on a diet. They claim a chemical imbalance in the brain caused by hidden ADHD robs patients of the willpower needed to shed excess fat.
Many will have suffered ADHD symptoms since childhood but will never have been diagnosed, they say.
The findings, published in the International Journal of Obesity, are likely to cause controversy over whether failure to lose weight is due to a lack of determination or an underlying medical condition.
A recent study warned that one in three adults in the UK will be obese by 2012.
Dietitians usually recommend low-calorie foods and regular exercise as the first line of attack against obesity. But it's estimated that around 80 per cent of severely obese patients fail to achieve their target weight by changing eating habits and lifestyle.
04-07-2009, 06:13 PM
One of the commenters seems to have spotted a flaw in the theory.
Hyperactive fat people................is this some kind of joke?
Click to rate Rating 6 - Jude, Abergavenny, 07/4/2009 09:44
04-08-2009, 09:13 AM
But wouldn't that be exactly why they changed the name to ADHD from Hyperactivity, to reflect that the hyperactivity is more of a symptom of the underlying inability to pay attention?
Because hyperactivity is one of the more annoying symptoms, a kid with ADHD who didn't display that particular symptom could easily slip through. Daydreaming kids don't present the disciplinary problems that hyper kids do, and a teacher who doesn't pay close attention may not pick up on that kind of behavior.
So, a fat kid could have ADD without the hyperactivity. The daydreaming is a pleasant escape, so he gets fatter than his peers because he chooses the daydreaming over exercise.
I work with kids, I've seen this kind of thing a lot, especially in little kids who have been abused in partiuclarly traumatic ways. They overeat and daydream a lot, and gain weight-sometimes just from lack of exercise, but also with some groups of kids, trying to be physically unattractive to others. Kids who haven't been abused still also can develop those types of avoidance behaviors like daydreaming.
I think most kids with ADD or ADHD need regular physical activity. When I was in elementary school, we had gym twice a week. They need it every day, for 45 minutes to an hour. I had a 5th grade teacher from Hungary who if the weather was nice and we were having trouble concentrating, he'd take us out to the soccer field and have us play for a little while before going back in to work on the lesson at hand.
04-08-2009, 09:59 AM
I think all normal kids daydream from time to time and that's not a symptom of anything. Most kids, particularly boys, aren't willing to pay attention to boring subjects unless they are forced to in some way. People are medicalizing normal childhood behavior.
I think these people (including the kids) turn to food because it's instantly gratifying and because they can.
My folks didn't keep any kind of snack food around routinely because we couldn't afford it. We kids couldn't plow through second and third helpings of food because all that stuff was designated for lunches or leftovers. We didn't have the pocket money to chow down on candy all the time and we wouldn't have had the money for fast food even if there had been a fast food place within 5 miles.
The exercise/running part is important for forming lifelong habits but it's the actual eating that piles on the pounds. People have the resources to eat as a hobby. :(
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