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Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 44, Issue 7, pp 1708–1719 | Cite as

Overweight and Obesity: Prevalence and Correlates in a Large Clinical Sample of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Katharine E. ZuckermanEmail author
  • Alison P. Hill
  • Kimberly Guion
  • Lisa Voltolina
  • Eric Fombonne
Original Paper

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 376 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 socio-demographic characteristics, ASD symptoms, ASD cognitive and adaptive functioning, behavioral problems, and treatments for ASD were associated with OWT and OBY in ASD. Overall 18.1 % of children met criteria for OWT and 17.0 % 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.

Keywords

Autism spectrum disorder Obesity Overweight Children 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This research was conducted using data collected as part of the Autism Treatment Network (ATN). The ATN is funded by Autism Speaks and a cooperative agreement (UA3 MC 11054) from the Health Resources and Services Administration to Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Zuckerman’s effort was funded by K23MH095828 from the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katharine E. Zuckerman
    • 1
  • Alison P. Hill
    • 2
    • 4
  • Kimberly Guion
    • 3
    • 4
  • Lisa Voltolina
    • 4
    • 5
  • Eric Fombonne
    • 4
    • 6
  1. 1.Division of General Pediatrics and Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative, Department of PediatricsOregon Health & Science UniversityPortlandUSA
  2. 2.Center for Spoken Language UnderstandingOregon Health & Science UniversityPortlandUSA
  3. 3.Division of Child PsychologyOregon Health & Science UniversityPortlandUSA
  4. 4.Institute of Development and DisabilityOregon Health & Science UniversityPortlandUSA
  5. 5.Department of Behavioral NeuroscienceOregon Health & Science UniversityPortlandUSA
  6. 6.Department of PsychiatryOregon Health & Science UniversityPortlandUSA

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