According to a study published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders children who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are twelve times more likely to suffer from eating disorders such as binge eating, or loss of control eating syndrome, than their peers who do not have attention deficit hyperactivity disorders.

The study also revealed that overweight and obese children who have a loss of control eating disorder, or a binge eating disorder diagnosed are seven times more likely to also have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder than their peers who do not have the eating disorders.

Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

Many children who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder lose weight because the medications that are used to control these disorders often causes them to have a loss of appetite.

The Center for Disease Control reports that in 2011, there were six point four million documented cases of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder amongst children between the ages of four and seventeen.

The study Group

For the purpose of this study, seventy nine children ranging in ages between eight and fourteen were gathered. The study was performed by Shauna Reinblatt, MD who works in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at John Hopkins University School of Medicine as an assistant professor.

Methods of Study

The researchers used interviews with the children, reports from parents and guardians, physical and mental tests to gauge the children. Neuropsychological tests were conducted on each test subject to see what control they have over their impulses that concern food, and other impulse behaviors.

What the test revealed

The results of the test showed that children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder were more frequently unable to control binge eating, and similar impulsive disorders.

More studies needed

There will have to be more studies to prove that there is a direct connection between the two disorders, and researchers want to see if children who have a genetic disposition for impulsive behaviors are more likely to have the eating disorders in conjunction with the attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

What pediatricians can take from the study

Pediatricians and medical professionals who work with children who have these disorders should be able to take the results of this study and apply them to diagnose, and evaluating, their patients with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

The medical profession can begin to evaluate children who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder for binge eating disorders, and vice versa. That would allow them to begin to treat the patient for both conditions and rectify some of the problems that these children have had in the past that their doctors never understood.

What this means for the future

When researchers can prove the connection between the disorders, they will be able to start to develop medications and treatment options for their patients that will address both conditions at one time.

Being able to treat both conditions with one medication would mean that children would take fewer medications and be subjected to the possibility of fewer side effects from their medication.