Obesity in children with autism spectrum disorder

Harv Rev Psychiatry. Mar-Apr 2014;22(2):93-103. doi: 10.1097/HRP.0000000000000031.

Abstract

Research suggests that the prevalence of obesity in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is at least as high as that seen in typically developing children. Many of the risk factors for children with ASD are likely the same as for typically developing children, especially within the context of today's obesogenic environment. The particular needs and challenges that this population faces, however, may render them more susceptible to the adverse effects of typical risk factors, and they may also be vulnerable to additional risk factors not shared by children in the general population, including psychopharmacological treatment, genetics, disordered sleep, atypical eating patterns, and challenges for engaging in sufficient physical activity. For individuals with ASD, obesity and its sequelae potentially represent a significant threat to independent living, self-care, quality of life, and overall health.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child Development Disorders, Pervasive / epidemiology*
  • Comorbidity*
  • Humans
  • Pediatric Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Quality of Life
  • Self Care