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Nutrient intake from food in children with autism.

TitleNutrient intake from food in children with autism.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsHyman, SL, Stewart, PA, Schmidt, BL, Cain, U, Lemcke, N, Foley, JT, Peck, R, Clemons, TE, Reynolds, AM, Johnson, CR, Handen, BL, S. James, J, Courtney, PManning, Molloy, CA, Ng, PK
JournalPediatrics
Volume130
PaginationS145-53
Date PublishedNov
KeywordsAIM, Autistic Disorder, Child, Eating, Female, Humans, IM, Male, Nutritional Status, Preschool, Prospective Studies
Abstract

OBJECTIVE: The impact of abnormal feeding behaviors reported for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) on their nutritional status is unknown. We compared nutrient intake from food consumed by children with and without ASD and examined nutrient deficiency and excess. METHODS: Prospective 3-day food records and BMI for children (2-11 years) with ASD participating in the Autism Treatment Network (Arkansas, Cincinnati, Colorado, Pittsburgh, and Rochester) were compared with both the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data and a matched subset based on age, gender, family income, and race/ethnicity (N = 252 analyzed food records). RESULTS: Children with ASD and matched controls consumed similar amounts of nutrients from food. Only children with ASD aged 4 to 8 years consumed significantly less energy, vitamins A and C, and the mineral Zn; and those 9 to 11 years consumed less phosphorous. A greater percentage of children with ASD met recommendations for vitamins K and E. Few children in either group met the recommended intakes for fiber, choline, calcium, vitamin D, vitamin K, and potassium. Specific age groups consumed excessive amounts of sodium, folate, manganese, zinc, vitamin A (retinol), selenium, and copper. No differences were observed in nutritional sufficiency of children given restricted diets. Children aged 2 to 5 years with ASD had more overweight and obesity, and children 5 to 11 years had more underweight. CONCLUSIONS: Children with ASD, like other children in America, consume less than the recommended amounts of certain nutrients from food. Primary care for all children should include nutritional surveillance and attention to BMI.

Summary

Lead Author Susan L. Hyman

Study Aims and Objectives
To better understand the impact of abnormal feeding behaviors reported for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) on their nutrition.

Methods - Sample, Procedure, Study Measures, Analysis
The researchers compared the 3-day food records for 295 children (2-11 years old) with ASD to similar data from a national survey. The nutrition data collected from this survey are based on 252 records of typically developing children who are within the same age range as the ASD sample. A BMI and BMI percentile was calculated for each child: those below the 5th percentile were classified as underweight, those above the 85th were considered overweight, and those above the 95th were considered obese.

Results – Main Finding(s)
Children with ASD aged 2 to 5 years were more likely to be overweight or obese; however, children with ASD aged 6 to 11 years were more likely to be underweight than their typically developing peers. Overall, children with ASD and those without ASD consumed similar amounts of nutrients from food. Only children with ASD aged 4 to 8 years consumed significantly less energy, vitamin A and C, and zinc. Those between the ages of 9 to 11 consumed less phosphorous. A greater percentage of children with ASD consumed adequate amounts of vitamins K and E. Few children in either group met the recommended intakes for fiber, choline, calcium, vitamin D, vitamin K, and potassium.

Conclusion – Summary Statement
Children with ASD, like other children in America, consume less than the recommended daily allowance of certain nutrients from food. Primary care for all children should include an evaluation of their nutrition and BMI.

PubMed ID23118245
Summary category: