Weight loss following a clinic-based weight loss program among adults with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms
S.L. Pagoto1, C. Curtin2, L.G. Bandini2,3, S.E. Anderson4, K.L. Schneider1, J.S. Bodenlos5, and Y. Ma1
1University of Massachusetts Medical School, Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine, Worcester, MA, 2University of Massachusetts Medical School, Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center, Waltham, MA, 3Boston University, Department of Health Sciences, Boston, MA, 4Ohio State University, College of Public Health, Division of Epidemiology, Columbus, OH, 5Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Department of Psychology, Geneva, NY, USA
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of the present study was to compare obese patients screening positive or negative for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) on pre-treatment body mass index (BMI), weight loss following a 16 week clinic-based behavioral weight loss program, weight loss attempts, dietary and physical activity habits, perceived difficulty of weight control skills, and eating self-efficacy.
DESIGN: Patients who completed a behavioral weight loss program were approached to complete questionnaires on ADHD and eating habits. Medical charts were reviewed to obtain weight at pre- and post-treatment.
RESULTS: Participants (N=63) were 75% female, mean age was 49 (SD=10.3), mean body mass index (BMI) was 41.4 kg/m2 (SD=6.8) and 30% screened positive for ADHD on the Adult ADHD Symptom Rating Scale. Participants screening positive for ADHD did not have a higher BMI at baseline (p=0.41), but reported more previous weight loss attempts (p=0.01) and lost less weight (p=0.02) than participants who screened negative. Participants screening positive also reported consuming fast food meals more frequently (p=0.04), higher levels of emotional eating (p=0.002), greater difficulty with weight control skills (p=0.01), and lower eating self-efficacy (p=0.001).
CONCLUSION: Attention-related problems appear to be common among weight treatment-seeking samples and represent a significant barrier to weight control that has not yet been addressed in the literature.
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