Food Variety as a Predictor of Nutritional Status Among Children with Autism

Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics MLC 4002, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, 3430 Burnet Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45220, USA.
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders (Impact Factor: 3.06). 05/2011; 42(4):549-56. DOI: 10.1007/s10803-011-1268-z
Source: PubMed


The frequency of selective eating and nutritional deficiency was studied among 22 children with autism and an age matched typically developing control group. Children with autism ate fewer foods on average than typically developing children. (33.5 vs. 54.5 foods, P < .001) As compared to typical controls, children with autism had a higher average intake of magnesium, and lower average intake of protein, calcium, vitamin B12, and vitamin D. Selective eaters were significantly more likely than typical controls to be at risk for at least one serious nutrient deficiency (P < .001).

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    • "Since this work, several studies have found high overweight and/or obesity rates among children with ASD, or other developmental disorders (Bicer & Alsaffar, 2013; Hediger et al., 2008; Ho, Eaves, & Peabody, 1997; Memari, Kordi, Ziaee, Mirfazeli, & Setoodeh, 2012; Souza et al., 2012; Xia, Zhou, Sun, Wang, & Wu, 2010; Xiong et al., 2009). Over the same period, many authors have concluded that, despite abnormal eating habits in many individuals with ASD, weight patterns are similar in children with ASD and their TD peers (Emond, Emmett, Steer, & Golding, 2010; Evans et al., 2012; Herndon et al., 2009; Lainhart et al., 2006; Sharp, Jaquess, & Lukens, 2013; Zimmer et al., 2012). In the USA, many children with ASD are overweight or obese, but this trend is also reflected in the general child population and has been attributed to eating habits in this country (Briefel & Johnson, 2004; Curtin, Anderson, Must, & Bandini, 2010). "
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    ABSTRACT: We aimed to compare body mass index( BMI) and healthy eating index( HEI) in children with autism spectrum disorder( ASD, n = 105) and typically developing (TD, n = 495) children.They were aged 6–9years,lived in Valencia (Spain) and came from similar cultural and socio-economic backgrounds.In this case–control study,the weight,height and BMI were measured for both groups.Three-day food records were used to assess dietary intake.Although the differences between children with ASD and TD children in raw BMI (p = 0.44),BMI z-score (p = 0.37),HEI(p = 0.43)and total energy intake (p = 0.86) were not significant,children with ASD and the boys subgroup were shorter (p = 0.01),but not the girls subgroup,compared to TD children of the same gender.Using the controls values as a reference,the BMI distribution in children with ASD be came distorted,with values below the 5th percentile (11%vs.4%, p = 0.03) and above the 95th percentile (8%vs.5%, p = 0.04).The gender-and age-adjusted odds ratios for being underweight in the groups of all children and boys with ASD were 3.03 and 2.39,respectively,vs.TD children.Our data suggest that routine monitoring of children with ASD should include anthropometric measurements and assessment of their dietary habits
    Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders 10/2014; 9(2015)26–33. DOI:10.1016/j.rasd.2014.09.013 · 2.96 Impact Factor
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    • "Note that Schreck et al. interviewed families of children up to age 12, suggesting that children with ASD do not " grow out of " feeding problems. Zimmer et al. (2012) analyzed the extent to which children with ASD and a feeding disorder had nutritional deficiencies. They reported that children with ASD and a feeding disorder were at significant risk of at least one nutrient deficiency (e.g., protein , calcium, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D). "
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    ABSTRACT: Despite the high prevalence and potential negative consequences of feeding disorders in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), there are surprisingly few studies that examine the efficacy of treatment exclusively with these children. Children with feeding disorders also frequently exhibit packing (holding or pocketing food without swallowing). Investigators have evaluated procedures in the general pediatric population to treat packing, and some have shown that procedures need to be combined to form an effective treatment. Although investigators have evaluated the efficacy of re-distribution, swallow facilitation, and a chaser, these procedures have not been evaluated specifically with children with ASD. Prior to the current investigation, we successfully used nonremoval procedures to increase acceptance of pureed foods and liquids and decrease the inappropriate mealtime behavior of two children diagnosed with ASD and feeding problems; however, in each case, packing emerged during initial treatment. We then used different combinations of re-distribution, swallow facilitation, and chaser treatments to decrease packing for both children.
    Behavior Modification 09/2014; 38(6). DOI:10.1177/0145445514550683 · 1.70 Impact Factor
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    • "Many children with ASD also demonstrate selective eating as a restrictive/repetitive behavior pattern (Zimmer et al. 2012), and have been shown to have higher intake of lownutrition , energy-dense foods (Evans et al. 2012). The severity or type of a child's symptoms may also affect his or her ability to participate in physical activities that might mitigate weight gain. "
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    ABSTRACT: Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) and childhood obesity (OBY) are rising public health concerns. This study aimed to evaluate the prevalence of overweight (OWT) and OBY in a sample of 388 Oregon children with ASD, and to assess correlates of OWT and OBY in this sample. We used descriptive statistics, bivariate, and focused multivariate analyses to determine whether demographic characteristics, cognitive and adaptive functioning, behavioral problems, ASD symptoms, and medication use were associated with OWT and OBY in ASD. Overall, 33.8% of children met criteria for OWT and 16.5% met criteria for OBY. OBY was associated with sleep difficulties, melatonin use, and affective problems. Interventions that consider unique needs of children with ASD may hold promise for improving weight status among children with ASD.
    Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 03/2014; in press. DOI:10.1007/s10803-014-2050-9 · 3.34 Impact Factor
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