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 …