Objectives: To investigate associations between adolescent personality disorder (PD) and obesity 17 years later.
Methods: The Children in the Community is a longitudinal study based on a randomly sampled cohort of families, in effect since 1975. PDs were assessed in youths by self-report and mother report in 1985 to 1986, when participants were at an average age of 16 years. Obesity was assessed in 2001 to 2004 when participants were an average age of 33 years (n = 621).
Results: Prevalence of obesity was 16.59% (103/621) at an average age of 33 years. Prevalence of any adolescent PD was 17.55% (109/621) at an average age of 16 years. Adolescents who had any PD were 1.84 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.05–3.22) times as likely to be obese 17 years later after adjusting for demographic variables and known risk factors. Paranoid, histrionic, and obsessive-compulsive PDs in adolescence were significantly associated with obesity in adulthood, with odds ratios of 3.45 (95% CI = 1.46–8.17), 4.49 (95% CI = 1.91–10.53), and 6.80 (95% CI = 2.50–18.55), respectively.
Conclusions: This is the first study to report a significant independent long-term association based on prospective data between adolescent PDs and adult obesity in a community-based sample. Findings will contribute to the design of preventive measures against the development of obesity.