Comparison of Obesity, Physical Activity, and Sedentary Behaviors Between Adolescents With Autism Spectrum Disorders and Without
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Body mass index classification, physical activity (PA), and sedentary behaviors were compared in adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to typically developing adolescents. Participants included 42,747 adolescents (ASD, n = 915) from the 2011–2012 National Survey of Children’s Health. After controlling for covariates, adolescents were more likely to be overweight and obese, and less likely to engage in regular PA versus typically developing adolescents (p’s < 0.05). Increased odds for overweight and obesity were attenuated after adjustment for PA. Higher autism severity was associated with increased odds of overweight and obesity and decreased odds of PA, sport, and club participation. These findings suggest adolescents with ASD are in need of targeted programs to decrease obesity and increase physical activity.
KeywordsAutism spectrum disorder Obesity Physical activity Sedentary behavior Sport participation
Stephanie M. McCoy, John M. Jakicic, and Bethany Barone Gibbs. Requested and analyzed the data: Stephanie M. McCoy. Wrote the manuscript: Stephanie M. McCoy. Reviewed and provided feedback: John M. Jakicic, and Bethany Barone Gibbs.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
Stephanie M. McCoy declares no conflicts of interest. Dr. Jakicic reports grants from American Heart Association, grants from National Institutes of Health (NIH-NHLBI), grants from Ethicon/Covidien, grants from Jawbone/BodyMedia, grants from Weight Watchers International, personal fees from Weight Watchers International, non-financial support from ILSI North America Energy Balance and Physical Activity Committee, and grants from HumanScale, outside the submitted work. Dr. Barone Gibbs reports grants from American Heart Association, grants from National Institutes of Health (NIH-NHLBI), and grants from HumanScale, outside the submitted work.
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