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Pediatr Int. 2017 Apr;59(4):408-415. doi: 10.1111/ped.13196. Epub 2017 Jan 5.

Nutritional status and feeding problems in pediatric attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder.

Author information

1
Department of Dietetics and Food Service, Kuala Lumpur Hospital, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
2
Dietetic Department, Faculty of Health Sciences, National University of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
3
Health Psychology Programme, Faculty of Health Sciences, National University of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
4
Psychiatry Department, Faculty of Medicine, National University of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Children with attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may be at risk of nutrient deficiency due to the inability to sit through meals. This comparative cross-sectional study was therefore carried out to determine the nutritional status and feeding problems of ADHD children aged 4-12 years.

METHODS:

Sociodemographic data, anthropometric measurements and 3 day dietary intake record were collected from 54 ADHD children and 54 typical development (TD) children. The Behavioral Pediatrics Feeding Assessment Scale was used to assess feeding problems.

RESULTS:

Mean subject age was 8.6 ± 2.1 years. On anthropometric assessment, 11.1% of the ADHD children had wasting, while 1.9% had severe wasting. In contrast, none of the TD children had wasting. Approximately 5.6% of the ADHD children had stunting, as compared with 3.7% of the TD children, while none of the TD children had severe stunting compared with 3.7% of the ADHD children. More than half of the ADHD children had mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) below the 5th percentile, indicating undernutrition, compared with only 35.2% of TD children. More than one-third of the ADHD children had feeding problems compared with 9.3% of TD children. There was a significant negative relationship between the ADHD children's feeding problems and bodyweight (r = -0338, P = 0.012), body mass index (r = -0322, P = 0.017) and MUAC (r = -0384, P = 0.004).

CONCLUSION:

Almost half of the ADHD children had suboptimal nutrition compared with 11.1% of the TD children. It is imperative to screen ADHD children for nutritional status and feeding problems to prevent negative health impacts later on.

KEYWORDS:

attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder; child; feeding problem; nutrition

PMID:
27805287
DOI:
10.1111/ped.13196
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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