Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 42, Issue 4, pp 549–556

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

  • Michelle H. Zimmer
  • Laura C. Hart
  • Patricia Manning-Courtney
  • Donna S. Murray
  • Nicole M. Bing
  • Suzanne Summer
Original Paper

Abstract

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).

Keywords

Autism Nutrition Feeding disorder Food Selectivity 

References

  1. Ahearn, W. H., Casinte, T., Nault, K., & Green, G. (2001). An assessment of food acceptance with autism or pervasive developmental disorder- not otherwise specified. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 31, 505–511.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bandini, L. G., Anderson, S. E., Curtin, C., Cermak, S., Evans, E. W., Scampini, R., et al. (2010). Food selectivity in children with autism spectrum disorders and typically developing children. Journal of Pediatrics, 157, 259–264.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Barr, S. I., Murphy, S. P., Poos, M. I., (2002). Interpreting and using the dietary references intakes in dietary assessment of individuals and groups, 102(6):780–8.Google Scholar
  4. Bennetto, L., Kuschner, E. S., & Hyman, S. L. (2007). Olfaction and taste processing in autism. Biological Psychiatry, 62, 1015–1021.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2009). Prevalence of autism spectrum disorders—Autism and developmental disabilities monitoring network, United States, 2006. MMWR Surveill Summ, 58(10), 1–20.Google Scholar
  6. Cornish, E. (1998). A balanced approach toward healthy eating in autism. Journal of Human Nutrition & Dietetics, 11, 501–509.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Eck, L. H., Klesges, R. C., Hanson, C. L., & White, J. (1991). Reporting retrospective dietary intake by food frequency questionnaire in a pediatric population. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 91, 606–608.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Emond, A., Emmett, P., Steer, C., & Golding, J. (2010). Feeding symptoms, dietary patterns, and growth in young children with autism spectrum disorders. Pediatrics, 126, e337–e342.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Feskanich, D., Rimm, E. B., Giovannucci, E. L., Colditz, G. A., Stampfer, M. J., Litin, L. B., et al. (1993). Reproducibility and validity of food intake measurements from a semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 93, 790–796.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Gerrior, S., Bente, L., & Hiza, H. (2004). Nutrient Content of the U.S. Food Supply, 1909-2000. (Home Economics Research Report No. 56). US Department of Agriculture, Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion.Google Scholar
  11. Hediger, M. L., England, L. J., Molloy, C. A., Yu, K. F., Manning-Courtney, P., & Mills, J. L. (2008). Reduced bone cortical thickness in boys with autism or autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disability, 38, 848–856.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hernandez-Avila, M., Romieu, I., Parra, S., Hernandez-Avila, J., Madrigal, H., & Willett, W. (1998). Validity and reproducibility of a food frequency questionnaire to assess dietary intake of women living in Mexico City. Salud Publica de Mexico, 40, 133–140.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Herndon, A. C., DiGuiseppi, C., Johnson, S., Leiferman, J., & Reynolds, A. (2009). Does nutritional intake differ between children with autism spectrum disorders and children with typical development? Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 39, 212–222.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Ho, H. H., Eaves, L. C., & Peabody, D. (1997). Nutrient intake and obesity in children with autism. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 12, 187–192.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Institute of Medicine. (2001). Dietary reference intakes: Applications in dietary assessment. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.Google Scholar
  16. Johnson, C. R., Handen, B. L., Mayer-Costa, M., & Sacco, K. (2008). Eating habits and dietary status in young children with autism. Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, 20, 437–448.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Laud, R. B., Girolami, P. A., Boscoe, J. H., & Gulotta, C. S. (2009). Treatment outcomes for severe feeding problems in children with autism spectrum disorder. Behavior Modification, 33, 520–536.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Ledford, J. R., & Gast, D. L. (2006). Feeding problems in children with autism spectrum disorders: A review. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 21, 153–166.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Levy, S., Souders, M. C., Ittenbach, R. F., Giarelli, E., Mulberg, A., & Pinto-Martin, J. (2007). Relationship of dietary intake to gastrointestinal symptoms in children with autistic spectrum disorders. Biological Psychiatry, 61, 492–497.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Lindsay, R. L., Arnold, L. E., Aman, M. G., Vitiello, B., Posey, D. J., McDougle, C. J., et al. (2006). Dietary status and impact of risperidone on nutritional balance in children with autism: a pilot study. Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability, 31, 204–209.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Lord, C., Rutter, M., DiLavore, P., & Risi, S. (1999). Autism diagnostic observation schedule—WPS edition. Los Angeles: Western Psychological Services.Google Scholar
  22. Lord, C., Rutter, M., & Le Couteur, A. (1994). Autism diagnostic interview—revised: A revised version of a diagnostic interview for caregivers of individuals with possible pervasive developmental disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 24, 659–685.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Patterson, R. E., Kristal, A. R., Tinker, L. F., Carter, R. A., Bolton, M. P., & Agurs-Collins, T. (1999). Measurement characteristics of the Women’s Health Initiative food frequency questionnaire. Annals of Epidemiology, 9, 178–187.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Raiten, D. J., & Massaro, T. (1986). Perspectives on the nutritional ecology of children with Autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disability, 16, 133–143.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Rimm, E. B., Giovannucci, E. L., Stampfer, M. J., Colditz, G. A., Litin, L. B., & Willett, W. C. (1992). Reproducibility and validity of an expanded self-administered semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire among male health professionals. American Journal of Epidemiology, 135, 1114–1126.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Salvini, S., Hunter, D. J., Sampson, L., Stampfer, M. J., Colditz, G. A., Rosner, B., et al. (1989). Food-based validation of a dietary questionnaire: the effects of week-to-week variation in food consumption. International Journal of Epidemiololgy, 18, 858–867.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Schreck, K. A., & Williams, K. (2006). Food preferences and factors influencing food selectivity for children with autism spectrum disorders. Research in Developmental Disability, 27, 353–363.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Shearer, T. R., Larson, K., Neuschwander, J., & Gedney, B. (1982). Minerals in the hair and nutrient intake of autistic children. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 12, 25–34.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Treiber, F. A., Leonard, S. B., Frank, G., Musante, L., Davis, H., Strong, W. B., et al. (1990). Dietary assessment instruments for preschool children: Reliability of parental responses to the 24-hour recall and a food frequency questionnaire. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 90, 814–820.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Udall, J. N., Jr., & Greene, H. L. (1992). Vitamin update. Pediatrics in Review, 13, 185–194.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Wei, X., Yanjuan, Z., Caihong, S., Jia, W., & Lijie W. (2010). A preliminary study on nutritional status and intake in Chinese children with autism. European Journal of Pediatrics, e-published ahead of print. Google Scholar
  32. Willett, W. C. (2000). Accuracy of food-frequency questionnaires. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 72, 1234–1236.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Willett, W. C., Reynolds, R. D., Cottrell-Hoehner, S., Sampson, L., & Browne, M. L. (1987). Validation of a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire: Comparison with a 1-year diet record. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 87, 43–47.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Willett, W. C., Sampson, L., Stampfer, M. J., Rosner, B., Bain, C., Witschi, J., et al. (1985). Reproducibility and validity of a semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire. American Journal of Epidemiology, 122, 51–65.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Williams, K., Gibbins, B. G., & Schreck, K. A. (2005). Comparing selective eaters with and without developmental disabilities. Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, 17, 299–309.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michelle H. Zimmer
    • 1
  • Laura C. Hart
    • 2
  • Patricia Manning-Courtney
    • 1
  • Donna S. Murray
    • 1
  • Nicole M. Bing
    • 1
  • Suzanne Summer
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics MLC 4002Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical CenterCincinnatiUSA
  2. 2.University of Cincinnati College of MedicineCincinnatiUSA

Personalised recommendations