Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 49, Issue 1, pp 165–172 | Cite as

Obesity Status and Physical Activity Level in Children and Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Pilot Study

  • T. Garcia-PastorEmail author
  • J. J. Salinero
  • C. I. Theirs
  • D. Ruiz-Vicente
Original Paper


The purpose of the present study was to compare body composition and physical activity level between children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). A sample of 78 children, adolescents and adults participated in the study. Anthropometrics and physical activity, using GT1M accelerometer, were assessed. Overweight and obesity prevalence was higher in men vs. male children (p < 0.001) and in men vs. women (p = 0.035). Children recorded more moderate to vigorous physical activity (p = 0.040) than adults. Normal-weight children and adolescents combined as one age group, accomplished more moderate to vigorous physical activity, steps and less sedentary time compared to their overweight and obese counterparts during the weekend. Obesity status may negatively affect physical activity level in ASD individuals.


Physical activity Sedentary behavior Obesity Autism Spectrum Disorders 



This study was supported by Autism Madrid Federation.

Author Contributions

DR head of the research project. She obtained funding and contacted the director centers to obtain authorization. Coordination of the data acquisition and data interpretation. Reviewing and contributing in the drafting of the manuscript. CIT psychologist specialized in ASD disorders. She assisted the team in the design of the project and collaborated in data acquisition. Reviewing and contributing in the drafting of the manuscript. JJS specialized in statistics. He assisted the team in the design of the project and in data interpretation and statistics. Reviewing and contributing in the drafting of the manuscript. TG specialized in obesity and physical activity assessment. She assisted the team in the design of the project, physical activity and anthropometrics data acquisition and interpretation. First author and creator of the first version of the manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the Camilo Jose Cela University Review Board and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Exercise Physiology LaboratoryCamilo Jose Cela UniversityMadridSpain

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