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Psychol Med. 2015;45(12):2511-20.

Childhood hyperactivity/inattention and eating disturbances predict binge eating in adolescence.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Identifying childhood predictors of binge eating and understanding risk mechanisms could help improve prevention and detection efforts. The aim of this study was to examine whether features of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), as well as childhood eating disturbances, predicted binge eating later in adolescence.

METHOD:

We studied specific risk factors for the development of binge eating during mid-adolescence among 7120 males and females from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC), a cohort study of children in the UK, using data from multiple informants to develop structural equation models. Repeated assessment of eating disturbances during childhood (mid-childhood overeating, late-childhood overeating and early-adolescent strong desire for food), as well as teacher- and parent-reported hyperactivity/inattention during mid- and late childhood, were considered as possible predictors of mid-adolescent binge eating.

RESULTS:

Prevalence of binge eating during mid-adolescence in our sample was 11.6%. The final model of predictors of binge eating during mid-adolescence included direct effects of late-childhood overeating [standardized estimate 0.145, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.038–0.259, p = 0.009] and early-adolescent strong desire for food (standardized estimate 0.088, 95% CI −0.002 to 0.169, p = 0.05). Hyperactivity/inattention during late childhood indirectly predicted binge eating during mid-adolescence (standardized estimate 0.085, 95% CI 0.007–0.128, p = 0.03) via late-childhood overeating and early-adolescent strong desire for food.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our findings indicate that early ADHD symptoms, in addition to an overeating phenotype, contribute to risk for adolescent binge eating. These findings lend support to the potential role of hyperactivity/inattention in the development of overeating and binge eating.

PMID:
26098685
PMCID:
PMC4655585
DOI:
10.1017/S0033291715000148
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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