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Problem eating behaviors in autism spectrum disorder are associated with suboptimal daily nutrient intake and taste/smell sensitivity

By Alison E. Lane, Maureen E. Geraghty, Gregory S. Young and Jena L. Rostorfer


Thirty children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) aged 3 to 10 years participated in this study exploring associations between problem eating behaviors, daily nutrient intake, and sensory disturbance. Parents completed surveys regarding the usual eating behaviors of their children. Children exhibiting more severe autism-specific disruptive behaviors at mealtimes were most at risk for suboptimal intake of select nutrients such as biotin, vitamin K, iodine, linolenic omega-3 fatty acids, and choline, which play a role in metabolism and bone and brain health. Children exhibiting food refusal tended to have increased caloric and nutrient intake. Picky eaters were more likely to consume adequate daily nutrients but experienced the highest levels of parent-reported taste/smell sensitivity. The findings of this preliminary study support a multifactorial approach to the management of problem eating behaviors in ASD

Topics: eating behaviors, nutrition, diet, sensory, autism spectrum disorder
Publisher: Sage
Year: 2014
DOI identifier: 10.1177/1941406414523981
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