Analysis of Dietary Intake in Children with Autism Spectrum DisorderKelly Barnhill1*, Alan Gutierrez1, S Nathan Marti2, and Laura Hewitson1
- *Corresponding Author:
- Barnhill K
The Johnson Center for Child Health and Development, Austin, TX, USA
E-mail: [email protected]
Received: October 21, 2015; Accepted: October 30, 2015; Published: November 07, 2015
Citation: Barnhill K, Gutierrez A, Marti SN, Hewitson L (2015) Analysis of Dietary Intake in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Autism Open Access 5:154. doi:10.4172/2165-7890.1000154
Copyright: © 2015 Barnhill K, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Parents and caregivers of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often report that their children are picky, restricted, and problem eaters. Additionally, it has been reported that children with ASD often experience gastrointestinal problems such as constipation, diarrhea, flatulence, cramping, bloating, and diffuse pain. These factors raise concern for nutritional status of children with ASD, given that the refusal to consume particular foods coupled with the inability to tolerate, digest, and absorb these foods can compromise an individual’s overall nutrition status. The aim of our study was to evaluate dietary intake in a group of 120 children aged 2-14 years who were served in an outpatient clinic over 18 months’ time. Anthropometric data and 3-day food diaries were collected and evaluated by a licensed, registered dietician. The results indicate that the majority of participants consumed adequate calories, protein, fats, and carbohydrates. However, the majority of participants were deficient in vitamins A, D, B1, and folate, as well as calcium, magnesium, iodine, and potassium. Essential fatty acid intake was insufficient for all but 6 of the participants. Overall, the study revealed deficits in several key nutrients for the majority of participants.