Associations between attention deficit hyperactivity disorder symptoms and eating behaviors in early childhood.
BACKGROUND: Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms have been linked with eating behaviors and obesity adolescence and young adulthood. Yet, little is known about whether these associations occur during early childhood and few studies have examined these associations prospectively. OBJECTIVES: To assess magnitude and direction of associations between childhood ADHD symptoms and eating behaviors. METHODS: Participants were from the Newborn Epigenetics Study (N = 470, M age = 4 years). Multivariable linear regression models were used to examine cross-sectional associations between ADHD symptoms and eating behaviors. Latent Change Score (LCS) modeling was performed to examine prospective association among a subset of children with available follow-up data. (N = 100, M age = 7 years). RESULTS: The cross-sectional results showed that attention problem (AP) and hyperactivity (HY) were positively associated with food responsiveness, emotional overeating, desire to drink, and slowness in eating. AP, but not HY, was inversely associated with enjoyment of food. Results of the LCS models revealed AP and HY were both positively associated with prospective changes in emotional overeating and satiety responsiveness. AP was further positively associated with prospective changes in food responsiveness. The reverse relationship predicting changes in ADHD symptoms from earlier assessments of eating behaviors was not significant. CONCLUSION: Results suggest a link between ADHD symptoms and obesity-related eating behaviors in early childhood, highlighting the need to address self-regulation and healthy eating behaviors in the prevention of childhood obesity.
Fuemmeler, BF; Sheng, Y; Schechter, JC; Do, E; Zucker, N; Majors, A; Maguire, R; Murphy, SK; Hoyo, C; Kollins, SH
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