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

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).

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Acknowledgments

The authors would like to acknowledge the efforts of Twila Rogers, Study Coordinator, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Clinical Trials Office. This study was was supported in part by USPHS Grant #M01 RR 08084 from the General Clinical Research Centers Program, National Center for Research Resources, NIH and in part by the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Research Foundation.

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Correspondence to Michelle H. Zimmer.

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Zimmer, M.H., Hart, L.C., Manning-Courtney, P. et al. Food Variety as a Predictor of Nutritional Status Among Children with Autism. J Autism Dev Disord 42, 549–556 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-011-1268-z

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Keywords

  • Autism
  • Nutrition
  • Feeding disorder
  • Food Selectivity