The incidence of childhood and adult obesity has risen dramatically over the past 30 years, and there is evidence of a link with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Research has previously suggested an overlap between ADHD and obesity due to underlying behavioral, neurobiological and genetic mechanisms.
Behavioral factors could involve the impulsivity and inattention characteristic of ADHD leading to irregular eating patterns. Genetic and neurobiological dysfunctions could imply a role for dopamine-related systems or brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF).
An earlier study proposed that shared etiologic pathways might lead to the development of both obesity and ADHD. A possible interaction could involve overnutrition contributing to ADHD and cognitive hyperstimulation contributing to obesity.