The association between attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and eating disorders has not been yet clarified. The presence of ADHD was significantly correlated with more severe binge eating, bulimic behaviors, and depressive symptomatology. The aim of this work is to study the relationship between ADHD subtypes in adults and the risk of food addiction (binge eating disorder).
The sample was collected on a specific program for adults with ADHD diagnosis in Madrid (Spain). In total, the sample was 110 patients, and we collected information about socio-demographic factors. All patients met DSM-5 criteria for ADHD in different subtypes. We used the conner's Adult ADHD rating scales and the Barrat impulsiveness scale. Also we used the Shorter Promise Questionnaire. This is a 16 scale self-report instrument to measure an individual's level of addictive tendency.
The 36.4% were at high risk of developing a food addiction. For binge eating disorder (BE), no statistically significant differences were found by gender within patients with ADHD.
Binge eating was significantly related to the impulsivity and emotional liability subscale of the CAARS (P < 0.05). The risk of develop BE in ADHD was 4.7 (CI 95% 1.8–12.07). Binge eating was significantly related to the total score on the Barrat scale (P < 0.05) Risk of 3,5 (CI 95% 1.5–7.9) and within the subtypes of impulsivity, motor impulsiveness was the one that was significantly related to BE (P < 0.001)
There is a clear relationship between impulsiveness symptoms and BE in patients with ADHD. It's important to note that there are no gender differences within ADHA patients to develop a BE disorder.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.