The prevalence of overweight in children and adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity was determined by cross-sectional analysis of 62,887 children aged 5 to 17 years from the 2003-2004 National Survey of Children’s Health, in a study at Brown Medical School, Providence, RI. The prevalence of ADD/ADHD was estimated at 8.8%, and more than half (57%) were treated with medication. Of the total ADHD children, 21% were overweight, 15.5% were at risk of overweight, 6.7% were underweight, and 56.7% were of normal weight. Patients not using medication had -1.5 times the odds of being overweight, and those currently medicated had -1.6 times the odds of being underweight compared to controls without ADHD. The weight status in ADHD children was independent of gender, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or depression or anxiety. Behavior patterns of children with ADHD might put them at increased risk of obesity. [1]

COMMENT. This report provides pediatricians with a heightened awareness of an increased risk of obesity in children with ADHD who are unmedicated. Patients with ADHD should be monitored for either weight loss, when medicated, or obesity, when nonmedicated. Obesity as a comorbidity for ADHD has been described previously in the International Jrnl of Eating Disorders. These studies were mainly clinical samples whereas the present report concerns a large nationally representative sample of ADHD patients. The findings are important, given the increased awareness of the problem of obesity in children and adolescents.