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Background: Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are at increased risk for poor health and obesity. The authors describe obesity-related movement behaviors in children with ADHD, determine higher risk groups, and compare with children with other disorders. Methods: Physical activity (PA), sleep, and screen time of children with ADHD (aged 6–18 y) were compared with recommendations and with behaviors of children with autism, asthma, and a normative group using 2011 National Survey of Child Health data. Results: Approximately one-third of children with ADHD participated in daily PA and half in sports in the past year. Older children with ADHD were less likely to get daily PA, get enough sleep, and limit screen time to <2 hours per day. Obese children had lower odds of daily PA. Children who had lower socioeconomic status, or severe ADHD, had lower odds of sports participation. Children with ADHD had 50% lower odds of sports participation than children with asthma. Conclusions: Children with ADHD did not engage in recommended amounts of PA, sleep, and screen time. Children with ADHD who are older, poor, obese, and/or with more severe symptoms are at higher risk for suboptimal movement behaviors. These domains represent novel treatment targets in ADHD youth.

Tandon, Sasser, Gonzalez, Whitlock, Christakis, and Stein are with the Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development, Seattle Children’s Research Institute, Seattle, WA, USA. Tandon and Christakis are also with the Departments of Pediatrics, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.

Tandon (Pooja@uw.edu) is corresponding author.
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