ADHD Drugs related to Weight Gain in Teens – how a cubby house can help

It is often the case that younger kids who are on ADHD drugs tend to lose weight initially, but new research just published has found that kids on stimulant medications tend to gain more weight than their peers as the enter into the teen years. The researchers seem to think that as these kids take stimulant medications, there might be something about the drugs themselves that are aggravating the problem. Dr. Brian Schwartz, an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, in Baltimore said that there seems to be a correlation between the length of time that the drugs have been taken and this has a stronger effect on weight gain later on.

The study was published online on 17th March as well as in the April print issue of the journal Pediatrics. Schwartz and his team studied medical records of more than 160,000 children who were between the ages of 3 and 18. Some of these kids were followed for as long as 12 years. Within these records about 8% of kids received an ADHD diagnosis and about 7% of those were prescribed stimulants. The team used BMI measurements to do their projections and they found that kids with an ADHD diagnosis who had not taken any medication to treat their symptoms started growing larger than their peers without the disorder as early as age 10.

However, adding a stimulant medication changed the picture. As we mentioned earlier, initially kids who took stimulants tended to lose weight as one of the side effects of the medication can be a loss of appetite and these kids tended to lag behind their unmedicated peers on growth charts. Children who were medicated the longest were about one to two BMI points smaller than their peers at age 10, Schwartz said.

But by age 15 to 18, the growth picture starts to change. By their late teens, kids who had taken and then stopped using stimulants tended to be one or two BMI points larger than their peers.

There has been previous research that has suggested a link between ADHD and obesity, but there is no proof that the medications actually cause kids to gain more weight. But children who were diagnosed with ADHD but left untreated also gained more weight than their peers without attention problems; it suggests that something about the disorder itself might also be to blame. The weight gain is considered as rebound weight gain!

So what can you do about it?

If your child is on ADHD medication, then it’s really important to start a healthy lifestyle early on, and our cubby houses for sale are the perfect way to set the path to a healthy and active lifestyle. By implementing exercise as a part of your daily routine from an early age, you are setting your kids up for an all-round healthy lifestyle filled with exercise and fun.

Cubby houses for sale to promote exercise

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SOURCES: Brian Schwartz, M.D., co-director, program on global sustainability and health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore; Tonya Froehlich, M.D., developmental-behavioral pediatrician, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Ohio; Pediatrics, April 2014

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