DIETARY ISSUES IN CHILDREN WITH AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS
Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) can demonstrate feeding problems, food refusal, and limited food preferences from infancy, but energy intake and growth are not affected.
(Media-Newswire.com) - Children with autism spectrum disorders ( ASD ) can demonstrate feeding problems, food refusal, and limited food preferences from infancy, but energy intake and growth are not affected.
In the study, “Feeding Symptoms, Dietary Patterns, and Growth in Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders,” published in the August print issue of Pediatrics ( published online July 19 ), the feeding and dietary patterns of 79 children with ASD were compared with 12,901 controls. ASD infants were often described by parents as “slow feeders” and showed later introduction of solids starting at 5 months. At 15 months, the ASD group had a less varied diet, and by 54 months, 8 percent had adopted a special diet for “allergy.” Compared to the control group, children with ASD ate fewer vegetables, salads, and fresh fruit, but also consumed fewer sweets and carbonated drinks. Study authors determined that even though children with ASD consumed less of some vitamins and accepted a more limited number of different foods, their intake of carbohydrates, protein, fats and total energy were similar to controls. No significant differences were apparent in weight, height, or body mass index up to 7 years of age.
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