What Is The Obesity/ADHD Connection?
There may be a link between adult ADHD and having weight control issues. Although 31% of all Americans are obese, and this epidemic seems to be even worse for those with adult ADHD.
Not only do adults with ADHD have trouble controlling their eating, they also have difficulty sticking to a diet. One study suggests that adult ADHD may be up to 15 times more common in people seeking help for weight loss. The key feature that links obesity and other eating disorders with adult ADHD is impulse control.
Understanding the Adult-ADHD-and-Obesity Connection
It was once thought that ADHD was a disorder of childhood, but doctors now know that many symptoms extend into adulthood. ADHD affects over 9 million American adults. Adults with ADHD frequently self-medicate with compulsive behaviors that may include overeating and other eating disorders.
The combination of adult ADHD and obesity can be especially challenging because symptoms often make staying on a diet — and therefore getting to a healthy weight — an uphill battle. Adult ADHD can also make it hard for people to control their emotions, and eating is a common way to self-soothe.