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Women who have ADHD have higher chances of eating disorders

A recent research conducted has shown that girls with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder have a higher chance of being inflicted with eating disorders than girls without ADHD.

The study conducted by the University of Virginia showed that women who have ADHD have strong tendencies to dislike their body that drove them to commit binge eating and purging behaviours that are common in bulimia nervosa.

ADHD is a disorder that affects about 5 percent of school-age children, and three times more boys than girls.

Symptoms include a short attention span, poor organization, excessive talking, disruptive and aggressive behaviour, restlessness and irritability.

Many children with ADHD suffer through a range of problems, from poor grades to poor relations with parents and teachers, and more than half have serious problems making friends.


Amori Yee Mikami, University of Virginia psychologist who led the study said girls with ADHD might be more at risk of developing eating problems as adolescents because they already have impulsive behaviours that can set them apart from their peers.

Mikami added as these girls get older, their impulsivity may make it difficult for them to maintain healthy eating and a healthy weight, resulting in self-consciousness about their body image and the binging and purging symptoms.

She added that because ADHD is more common in boys, many girls with the disorder might go undiagnosed and untreated.

Further, she disclosed an alarming concern that stimulant medications used to treat ADHD have a side effect of appetite suppression, creating a risk that overweight girls could abuse these medicines to encourage weight loss.


The result of the study showed that the parents and teachers of adolescent girls with ADHD need to closely monitor their children to ensure they will not suffer from any kind of an eating disorder.

Having an ADHD is not an easy condition, which is why precaution and vigilance should always be practiced to ensure the patient would be inflicted with an eating disorder.

Being inflicted with both ADHD and an eating disorder might be too much to handle which is why precaution is better than cure.

However, if your child, relative or friend already acquired both the best way to deal with it is to offer your support and understanding to that person.