Center for Health Policy and Research (CHPR) Publications


Weight loss following a clinic-based weight loss program among adults with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine; Shriver Center; Center for Health Policy and Research

Publication Date


Document Type



Adult; Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity; Body Mass Index; Body Weight; Diet Therapy; Exercise Therapy; Feeding Behavior; Female; Health Promotion; Humans; Middle Aged; Obesity; Questionnaires; Self Efficacy


Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Mental and Social Health | Psychiatry and Psychology


OBJECTIVE: The purpose of the present study was to compare obese patients screening positive or negative for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) on pretreatment 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.


Eat Weight Disord. 2010 Sep;15(3):e166-72. Link to article on publisher's website

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Eating and weight disorders : EWD

Related Resources

Link to article in PubMed

PubMed ID