Association between Obesity and Adult Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in a German Community-Based Sample

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Zwaan, Martina de
Gruß, Barbara
Müller, Astrid
Philipsen, Alexandra
Graap, Holmer
Martin, Alexandra
Glaesmer, Heide
Hilbert, Anja

Objective: The goal of the present study was to examine the association between attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and obesity in a representative community based sample of the German population. Method: Participants were 1,633 German residents (53.6% female) aged 18–64 years. A retrospective assessment of childhood ADHD and a self-report assessment of adult ADHD were administered for diagnosis of adult ADHD. In addition, binge eating and purging behaviors as well as depression and anxiety were assessed using selfrating instruments. Results: The estimated prevalence of ADHD in obese participants was 9.7% compared to 3.8% in overweight and 4.3% in under-/normal-weight participants. The prevalence of obesity was 22.1% among adults with ADHD and 10.2% among persons without ADHD. Adult ADHD was significantly associated with a greater likelihood of being obese but not overweight even after adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics. Results were similar when adjusting for depression and anxiety symptoms and for purging behaviors. Odds ratios decreased after adjusting for binge eating; however, the results were still significant which shows that the relationship between obesity and ADHD in adulthood is not fully explained by binge eating. Conclusion: Overall, the results indicate that adult ADHD is associated with obesity in a community-based sample of the adult German population.

Journal Title
Obesity Facts 2011; 4: 204-211. <> © 2011 S. Karger GmbH, Freiburg

Obesity Facts 2011; 4: 204-211. © 2011 S. Karger GmbH, Freiburg

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