European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

, Volume 23, Issue 7, pp 531–537

On the link between attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and obesity: do comorbid oppositional defiant and conduct disorder matter?

  • Ursula Pauli-Pott
  • John Neidhard
  • Monika Heinzel-Gutenbrunner
  • Katja Becker
Original Contribution

DOI: 10.1007/s00787-013-0489-4

Cite this article as:
Pauli-Pott, U., Neidhard, J., Heinzel-Gutenbrunner, M. et al. Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry (2014) 23: 531. doi:10.1007/s00787-013-0489-4

Abstract

The link between attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and elevated body weight/obesity can be regarded as well established. Because oppositional defiant disorder (ODD)/conduct disorder (CD) has also been found to be associated with these characteristics and ADHD and ODD/CD often occur comorbidly, we investigated whether ODD/CD and ADHD are independently linked with body weight and obesity. The clinical records of 360 children, 257 (6–12 years) with diagnoses of ADHD, ODD/CD, or comorbid ADHD and ODD/CD and 103 children with adjustment disorder (as a control group) constituted the database. All children were seen for the first time in two outpatient psychiatric clinics. Associations of the psychiatric diagnoses (ADHD present vs. not present; ODD/CD present vs. not present) with the standard deviation scores (according to German reference data) of the child’s body mass index (BMI-SDS) and presence of obesity were analyzed by ANCOVA and hierarchical logistic regression analysis, respectively. Children with ODD/CD showed higher BMI-SDS (F = 7.67, p < 0.006) and rate of obesity (Wald = 4.12, p < 0.05, OR = 2.43) while controlling for ADHD comorbidity. While adjusting for ODD/CD comorbidity, the links between ADHD and BMI-SDS or obesity did not reach statistical significance. Given a cross validation of these findings, future (preferably prospective longitudinal) research should analyze the mediating mechanism between the psychiatric conditions and obesity. This knowledge could be helpful for preventive interventions.

Keywords

ADHDConduct disorderOppositional defiant disorderObesityBody weight

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ursula Pauli-Pott
    • 1
  • John Neidhard
    • 1
  • Monika Heinzel-Gutenbrunner
    • 1
  • Katja Becker
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Psychosomatics and PsychotherapyPhilipps-University MarburgMarburgGermany