Does Nutritional Intake Differ Between Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Children with Typical Development?

  • Alison C. Herndon
  • Carolyn DiGuiseppi
  • Susan L. Johnson
  • Jenn Leiferman
  • Ann Reynolds
Original Paper


Consumption of macro- and micronutrients and food group servings by children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs; n = 46) and typical development (n = 31) were compared using 3-day diet records. Children with ASDs consumed significantly more vitamin B6 and E and non-dairy protein servings, less calcium, and fewer dairy servings (p < .05). The significantly lower dairy serving intake persisted after controlling for child age and sex and parental dietary restrictions, and excluding children on the gluten-free casein-free (GFCF) diet. Large proportions of children in both groups did not meet national recommendations for daily intake of fiber, calcium, iron, vitamin E, and vitamin D.


Autism Dietary intake Children 



This research was supported by Grant #UIDCCU820391, Centers for Excellence for Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and by Grant #MO1 RR00069, Clinical Translational Research Centers Program, National Center for Research Resources, National Institutes of Health (NIH). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH or CDC. We would like to thank Kristina Kaparich for her assistance in data collection and Melanie Kasten for her help with dietary analyses. We would also like to thank the families who participated in this project. This paper was prepared in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Public Health at the University of Colorado, Denver.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alison C. Herndon
    • 1
  • Carolyn DiGuiseppi
    • 2
  • Susan L. Johnson
    • 1
  • Jenn Leiferman
    • 2
  • Ann Reynolds
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.University of Colorado Denver, School of MedicineAuroraUSA
  2. 2.Colorado School of Public Health, UCDDenverUSA
  3. 3.The Children’s HospitalAuroraUSA

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