Autism Speaks said Monday a new study conducted by researchers from the Autism Treatment Network focusing on the link between autism and obesity revealed that a path toward unhealthy weight gain can begin at a very young age.
The study, which involved 5,053 children living with autism, found that 32 percent of the autistic 2- to 5-year-olds were overweight as compared to 23 percent of children in the same age range that did not have autism, and 16 percent of the autistic 2- to 5-year-olds were obese compared to 10 percent of children in the same age range that did not have autism.
Obesity rates were not as high among autistic teens, but they were still higher than in teens that did not have autism.
“These new findings are important for showing that obesity and unhealthy weight start early among children with autism,” Autism Speaks Senior Vice President for Medical Research
said. “We need to make sure that obesity and unhealthy weight gain are recognized and addressed whenever they occur in children with autism spectrum disorder.”
Other findings of the study, published in Pediatrics, included that obesity was more prevalent in children and teens taking more than one psychoactive medicine and that the association between autism and obesity may be rooted in the fact that autism is often marked by decreased physical activity and social isolation.
Study analyzes link between autism and obesity
Organizations in this Story
Want to get notified whenever we write about Autism Speaks ?
Next time we write about Autism Speaks, we'll email you a link to the story. You may edit your settings or unsubscribe at any time.Sign-up for Alerts