Hyperactivity drug 'could help solve Britain's obesity crisis'

By cannabis-sam · Apr 10, 2009 · ·
  1. cannabis-sam
    [h1]Hyperactivity drug 'could help solve Britain's obesity crisis' [/h1]
    Drugs used to treat hyperactive children, such as Ritalin, could be used to help solve Britain's obesity crisis as new research has shown one in three severely obese adults who fail to lose weight have undiagnosed Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

    ritaline_1379997c.jpg Ritalin could help with Britain's obesity crisis

    Doctors behind the latest findings claim a chemical imbalance in the brain caused by undiagnosed ADHD prevents severely obese patients from having the willpower to lose weight.

    And they claim once the condition had been treated with drugs such as Ritalin improve their dieting success dramatically.

    Almost one in four people in Britain are now obese, official statistics show, and research suggests the figure could rise to one in three by 2012 because of poor diet and sedentary lifestyles.

    Dr Lance Levy, from the Nutritional Disorders Clinic in Toronto studied 242 severly obese patients who had failed to lose weight in 10 years. Each patient was screened for ADHD through a series of tests and interviews. Results showed 32 per cent had a diagnosis of ADHD. They were then prescribed anti-hyperactivity drugs including Adderall, a type of amphetamine and a Ritalin-style pill called Concerta, taken once a day.

    After a year of treatment, those given the drugs had lost an average of 12 per cent of their total body weight, compared to 2.7 per cent of those not given medication. Volunteers also reported feeling calmer.

    Dr Levy said: "People with ADHD are more likely to develop weight problems than those without it. But obesity itself does not cause ADHD.'"

    Growing numbers of adults are being diagnosed however with effects including low energy levels and impulsive behaviour.

    The National Obesity Forum welcomed new therapies, but said it was too early to say all obese patients should be screened for ADHD.

    By Chris Irvine
    Last Updated: 11:47AM BST 07 Apr 2009


    Share This Article


  1. blipblop
    Sounds like bullshit to me. More likely the weight loss is due to the fact that ritalin suppresses appetite and can even make you feel ill when you eat. The companies who make ritalin know that the weight loss industry will make them billions, I'm not surprised they want in.
  2. ConcertaXL
    Wow, unbelievable. This is not news, it has been done since the early days of pharmaceuticals, well over half a century. The age-old thin; sorry, thing; of giving "uppers" to put a downer on your weight was banned by the FDA in the seventies because it created thousands of speed-freak Middle American housewives addicted to their purple in the morning, blue in the afternoon, and orange in the evening. Since then less strong amphetamine style anorectics (but still uppers) have been offered to limited numbers of people: benzphetamine, phentermine, sibutramine, diethylpropion, mesocarb, fencamfamine, phendimetrazine, the list goes on... This is just an attempt to reverse the contraindication of very strong, very euphoric, very abusable stimulants for general management of obesity, which has not been accepted medical practice for three decades. If it is accepted in the UK don't be surprised at the mighty Prellies coming back to market after 15 years of discontinuation. Does anyone remember preludin? SWIM's too young to have experienced it (shame- was a little child in 94 when it went, any users must be at least late twenties now). Ritalin, concerta and adderall have been purchased from street dealers and high school kids for the express purpose of losing weight- and from OPs, but crackdowns mean there are very few sites who offer CII's and are not scammers.
  3. Nature Boy
    Yup, sounds like a bad idea to me. Obesity can be prevented by eating well and excercising. We won't have any other effective solution until we have little nanobots crawling around under our skin and that's still twenty years off.

    Put the chicken-wing down fatty!
  4. sandoz1943
    Thats great another pill. I seem to remember as a child playing outside until it was dark. Get Fatty Lumpkin off the couch and send him outside to play. The grownups buy the Ho Ho's, Twinkies, Chips and soda but cant understand why Fatty is a ball of lard. Good to know the drug companies are there to fix it for us so we dont have to actually parent our children by encouraging them to exercise and eat right. I expect to see Gastric bypass for preschoolers any day now.

    sandoz1943 added 6 Minutes and 55 Seconds later...

    Please know this is not aimed at those who did not contribute to thier weight problems or can not loose weight. We are talking about CHILDREN. In general children are not born overweight and there are ways to combat any weight problems with out giving CHILDREN drugs. This only encourages an already dangerous trend where children have been raised to believe that there is a pill to fix anything and thats exactly what the drug companies would like. Possibly if they (drug co)werent blinded by greed and cared about health maybe even prevention (novel idea) this wouldnt be such a scary proposition.
  5. Nature Boy
    To whatever stooge attempted to give me a negative rep for my comment above, let me be clear in that there is a big difference between people of a heavy build and obesity. Some people are naturally heavy and this is quite normal. Obesity is a relatively new phenomenon in human history caused directly by bad diet and lack of excercise. There is no defending it. What next, alcoholism is a disease?

    Get real.
  6. attentionplease
    For most people, especially adults, the most common stimulants used to treat ADHD do not cause weight loss. The clinical studies that lead to their FDA approval found that while a loss of appetite was a very common side effect, resulting weight loss was rare for adults, and the appetite loss usually disappeared anyway after a few weeks, so I don't think that's a likely explanation for why so many of these obese adults benefited as much as they did. Desoxyn is used to treat obesity already, as well as ADHD, but they don't seem to be talking about that, they're talking about the first-line ADHD medications. Desoxyn is rarely used for either.

    The link between obesity and ADHD has been known for a while. There are various connections, including both conditions sharing particular versions of genes affecting dopamine, which is central to the brain's reward system. Girls with eating disorders, especially bulimia more often have ADHD too. A faulty impulse inhibition system is involved in both.

    Personally, I can eat quite a lot without putting on weight, partly because what I eat is very healthy, partly because I get decent exercise (constant fidgeting must raise my BMR somewhat too) and maybe other factors that aren't understood. However I completely understand why untreated or poorly controlled ADHD can lead to over-eating:

    1. Movement, especially repetitive movement, helps people with ADHD to focus and/or become more alert. It increases dopamine levels and helps normalise our EEG readings. A desire to chew and have an excuse to move even a little while thinking or having to stay relatively still is another manifestation of the resulting urge to move, especially when so many other self-medicating movements are forbidden, e.g. foot-tapping, rocking, leaning back in the chair...

    2. Even apart from the effects of movement, eating tends to affect brain chemistry in such a way as to have a calming effect. Sometimes no movement is enough for me to stay at something, so I go and find something to eat because the feeling of being full, or too full, has a remarkable calming effect and so allows me to remain sitting long enough to do something I'd like to do or have to do that requires staying seated.

    3. People with ADHD are more likely to develop major or dysthymic depression and to have problems falling asleep, and from an earlier age. Depression and initial insomnia are also problems that food can be used to self-medicate.

    My conclusion? Go for it. In the UK ADHD is very undermedicated, especially in adults. Medication is cruelly seen as a last resort in children, too, even though when started early enough it's known to reverse at least one of the associated structural abnormalities (the lack of white matter). If links to co-morbid conditions are the only way it's going to get taken seriously, fine, go forth.
  7. blipblop
    I like all your arguments and insights, your post was really thought-provoking.

    I think I disagree with you though on the bit I quoted, I think starting to view ritalin and similar meds as a way to solve obesity is going to be counterproductive to getting medication taken seriously for people with AD/HD. I think that as the numbers of parents trying to get rid of their kids' puppy fat with ritalin increases, the perception of ritalin as a 'diet pill' will probably rise. As you've said, girls with bulimia are more likely to have AD/HD, and there is a legitimate medical connection, but what if a girl has been diagnosed as bulimic and then starts fronting up to the doc with AD/HD symptoms? They probably *won't* medicate, even though there is a scientific reason to, but instead would just assume "she wants diet pills, she's worried about her weight, she's faking AD/HD".

    I'm all for ritalin being given to more people who turn out to have undiscovered AD/HD, but I wouldn't want to see doctors start assuming "overweight = underlying attention deficit" without further examination of the patient.

    [Of course, seeing as I'm a big fan of the idea of more easily accessible drugs and less restriction, I'd love to see ritalin be made available for anyone who could demonstrate that they understood the risks, then it wouldn't be in the hands of doctors to decide whether a bulimic girl really had AD/HD, or to con a heavy person into thinking they have a mental illness/whatever you want to call AD/HD...]
    Anyway, fascinating post, attentionplease.
To make a comment simply sign up and become a member!