“I can tell you I was definitely the fat kid in middle school before I started taking the medicine,” Graham recalled.
When he started taking the medicine for his hyperactive ways he started losing weight and then guess what? Occasionally when he stopped, he started gaining weight.
When he was in college he was thin and on meds.
“So when you’re off it all of the sudden you’re not walking around the house as much, you’re not up doing the errand or that errand so you kind of settle down a little bit more,” Graham said. “It might be the weight gain is from not being active.”
Graham wasn’t involved in the study but researches at New York University followed more than a 100 boys until they were 41 years old. 41% of the ones who were diagnosed with ADHD became overweight adults while just 21% of those who didn’t have ADHD became overweight.
Judy Gaman of Executive Medicine of Texas has seen it before–when the medicine stops the weight begins.
“What happens is they get older, they get off of these medicines and then their bodies don’t know how to metabolize things accurately,” Judy said. “Whatever they’re putting in their body is keeping because the body is really in starvation mode.”
Researchers said the study doesn’t prove ADHD causes weight gain but they speculate the weight gain could be caused by psychological factors.
Whatever the reason Judy said the study is a real eye-opener.
“This is something that we must get under control or we’re going to have an epidemic,” Judy said.
Graham has his own theory–people on ADHD medications never develop good eating habits and when they become adults they start to gain weight.
“I think people who aren’t on ADD medications learn those lessons kind of on their own,” Graham said. “They learn, oh, I shouldn’t eat as much you know, I’m not 19 anymore and running around like crazy.”
One thing is certain–health experts agree that nutrition should play a key role when treating ADHD.
As for Graham–some of that weight gain probably wasn’t his fault.
“It’s kind of nice to be able to blame something else but you know I still would want to take my own responsibility with it.”