Relationships between food-related behaviors, obesity, and medication use in individuals with Smith-Magenis syndrome

Res Dev Disabil. 2022 Aug;127:104257. doi: 10.1016/j.ridd.2022.104257. Epub 2022 May 18.


Background: Smith-Magenis syndrome (SMS) is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder that includes obesity and food-seeking/satiety-related behaviors.

Aims: This study examined associations between food-related/hyperphagic behaviors, weight, and medication use in individuals with SMS.

Methods/procedures: Caregivers of individuals with SMS in the Parents and Researchers Interested in SMS (PRISMS) Patient Registry completed a demographic/medication questionnaire, the Hyperphagia Questionnaire for Clinical Trials, and the Food Related Problems Questionnaire.

Outcomes/results: Among 49 participants (Mage = 16.41 ± 12.73 years, range = 4-69 years, 55% girls/women), individuals with SMS with overweight/obesity (n = 22) had worse overall food-related problems including greater impaired satiety (p < 0.05), maladaptive eating behaviors (p < 0.05), inappropriate response (p < 0.01), and hyperphagia (p < 0.01) compared to individuals of normal/underweight (n = 27). Those taking anti-depressants/anxiolytics (n = 16) had greater maladaptive eating behaviors (p < 0.05), hyperphagic behaviors (p < 0.05), and hyperphagic severity (p < 0.05) than those not taking anti-depressants/anxiolytics (n = 33). Boys/men with SMS had greater maladaptive eating behaviors (p < 0.05), inappropriate response (p < 0.05), and hyperphagic drive (p < 0.01) than girls/women with SMS.

Conclusions/implications: Maladaptive food-related behaviors were higher in individuals with SMS with overweight/obesity, taking anti-depressants/anxiolytics, or who were male. Medications in this population should be chosen with weight-related side effects in mind.

Keywords: Food-seeking; Hyperphagia; Medications; Obesity; Satiety; Smith-Magenis syndrome.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-Anxiety Agents*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperphagia
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity
  • Overweight
  • Smith-Magenis Syndrome*
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-Anxiety Agents