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.
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.
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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.