Comorbidity between obesity and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder: Population study with 13–15-year-olds




This study analyzes whether obese children have a higher risk of attention deficit/hyperactivity “characteristics” (AD/HD) than do children with other nutritional states.


This study included 35,403 participants from 486 community schools. They completed the AD/HD scale of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) and were weighed and measured. 2879 of the participants were obese and 78 were morbidly obese (BMI >40).


A discrete, nonsignificant, increment was found in the AD/HD characteristics of male participants with morbid obesity, as compared with the other nutritional states. Among morbidly obese females, the prevalence of AD/HD characteristics was slightly superior, although not significantly, to that found in participants with normal weight, overweight or obese (BMI <40).


Among nonclinical populations with a communitarian origin, previous findings reporting high rates of AD/HD in obese children are not replicated. This increment in the prevalence of AD/HD among hospitalized obese children could be the result of selection bias. © 2006 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 2006