Main content area

Adulthood and childhood ADHD in patients consulting for obesity is associated with food addiction and binge eating, but not sleep apnea syndrome

Brunault, Paul, Frammery, Julie, Montaudon, Pauline, De Luca, Arnaud, Hankard, Régis, Ducluzeau, Pierre Henri, Cortese, Samuele, Ballon, Nicolas
Appetite 2019 v.136 pp. 25-32
adulthood, adults, binging, body mass index, childhood, eating disorders, nutrition, obesity, patients, sleep apnea, therapeutics, France
The exact mechanisms underlying the established association between ADHD and obesity remain unclear. Food addiction and binge eating may contribute to this link. We examined for the first time the association between childhood/adult ADHD and food addiction/binge eating in patients with obesity, as well as the association between ADHD and sleep apnea syndrome.We included 105 obese patients from the Nutrition Department of the University Hospital of Tours (France) between January and December 2014. We assessed categorical diagnoses of childhood/adulthood ADHD (semi-structured interview DIVA 2.0), food addiction (Yale Food Addiction Scale 2.0), binge eating (Binge Eating Scale), obstructive sleep apnea (clinical assessment), and BMI (clinical assessment).Patients with adult ADHD were at significantly higher risk of food addiction than patients without adult ADHD (28.6% vs. 9.1%; p = .016). Adult and childhood ADHD were significantly associated with self-reported food addiction, food addiction scores and binge eating scores, with a larger effect size for adult (ORs: 4.00 [1.29–12.40], 1.37 [1.14–1.65] and 1.08 [1.03–1.14], respectively) than childhood (ORs: 3.32 [1.08–10.23], 1.29 [1.08–1.55] and 1.06 [1.01–1.11], respectively) ADHD. ADHD diagnosis was not significantly correlated to obstructive sleep apnea. Mean age of onset of ADHD preceded mean age of onset of obesity.ADHD diagnosis is associated with food addiction and binge eating, with a larger effect size for adult than childhood ADHD. Our results provide a strong rationale for further longitudinal research on the link between ADHD, food addiction, binge eating and obesity, paving the way for evidence-based therapeutic interventions for these patients.