Prevalence of Attention DeficitHyperactivity Disorder in Women Who are Obese


National Health Week (April 13-20, 2003) focused on the issue of obesity. I thought it would be interesting to look at the prevalence of ADHD in women who are obese. The issue of eating disorders and obesity in women with ADHD was first raised by Dr. John Fleming, Ph.D., and Lance Levy in the chapter on eating disorders and ADHD in Understanding Women with ADHD.

Fleming and Levy reported on their work in an obesity clinic in Canada. They found that women who were least successful in losing weight in their eating disorders treatment program had a much higher incidence of undiagnosed ADHD than in the general population.

Dr. Fleming wrote that he believed this pattern had several causes, all related to ADHD. For example, changing unhealthy patterns of overeating or binge eating requires planning and consistency – two capacities that are compromised by the executive functioning challenges associated …

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A Close Look at Girls With ADHD in the Classroom

Clinical reports have long described girls with ADHD as better behaved and more teacher-compliant in the classroom than boys with ADHD, and many have speculated that these factors have played an ongoing role in the under-diagnosis of girls with ADHD.

An important new study has carefully documented these different classroom behavior patterns. Abikoff and his colleagues examined 403 boys and 99 girls with combined type ADHD, ages 7-10, in a naturalistic classroom setting, to explore the effects of gender and comorbid conditions upon behavior.

To fully appreciate the importance of these findings, we want to underline that all of the girls in this study met the criteria for both hyperactive/impulsive ADHD, as well as inattentive type, and were therefore categorized as having “combined type.” We emphasize this because even these girls demonstrated few of the behaviors that so often lead to teacher referral. We can safely assume that girls …

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