Common eating problems in autistic people


Written by Kara Morrez
HealthDay Reporter

Tue, May 4, 2021 (HealthDay News) – While it’s well established Wading And some eating issues go hand in hand, so does sex play a role as well?

It appears to be the case, according to Swedish researchers who have set out to better understand whether being male or female affects eating problems in people with autism.

The study found that autism traits predicted problems with eating, but the link was more pronounced, especially between girls or women. The researchers also found that these problems with food intake may increase the risk of social isolation for females with autism.

Study author Carl Lundin Remenelius said, “We did not study the possible genetic difference between males and females, but we looked at this association between autism and eating problems. We wanted to see if this was different between females and males.” A PhD student at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.

Remnelius said that the specific eating problems that the females noticed include social statuses.

“These things were, for example, ‘I find it difficult to eat with friends,’ or ‘I find it difficult to eat at school, at work, or at a restaurant,’ said Remnelius. ” And we actually saw when we looked closely at this. The sub-domain indicates that only these social elements were reported by autistic females or had higher scores.

She continued

The study also found that autism traits predicted increased eating problems. This may not be because autism also causes problems with eating but some genetic factors could be responsible for both, Remnelius said.

“We don’t know if this is a cause, or that autism causes problems with eating, or if there is another factor that may affect both autism and eating problems. One of the things may be that certain genes increase the likelihood of an autistic person,” said Remnelius. It may also increase the likelihood of a person experiencing eating problems.

He said, “Sometimes you describe it as a genetic confusion, so it’s not autism really that causes eating problems.” “What’s more, people with autism also have a higher risk of developing problems eating.”

She continued

The study involved nearly 200 identical and fraternal twins between the ages of 15 and 33, including 28 individuals with autism, all of whom were part of the roots of autism and ADHD Twin study in Sweden. The study looked at correlations across the entire sample and then within the twin pairs.

She continued

Remnelius said participants reported their eating problems in a survey that covered eating problems in a broad way. Participants also conducted neurodevelopmental assessments, and the researchers collected information on autism traits reported by the parents.

Eating problems included selective eating, sensory sensitivity to food and its symptoms Eating disorders.

Remnelius suggested that social eating problems may limit females’ access to opportunities for social interaction, saying that more research should be done on the issue.

The findings were presented Monday at the virtual annual meeting of the International Association for Autism Research. This research is preparatory to be published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Pamela Feliciano, scientific director of SPARK (Simons Powering Autism Research), who was not involved in this study, said the study confirms the findings previously seen.

Previous research has shown a link between autism or autistic traits and food selectivity. She said cognitive inflexibility could be a risk factor for an eating disorder.

Feliciano said the idea that there is a difference between the sexes in eating issues is interesting and a new aspect that needs more understanding.

She continued

“I think this becomes important,” she said. “If a child with autism only eats three things, then it will be really difficult for that child to integrate into social situations.”

Feliciano said it can also be difficult for families to have experiences when food intake is so limited. Therapy can help change this by slowly building up a person’s food repertoire.

She noted that many parents of children with autism reported eating selective food. Some babies eat less than five foods or only eat foods of a certain color.

“It’s complicated. I think repetitive behavior, the tendency to repetitive behavior and the desire to do the same thing over and over again, play its part in it, but there is also – and research has shown – this is a sensory component of it,” Feliciano explained. “So, if children are sensitive to loud noises and cannot tolerate them, eating crunchy food will be painful for them.”

She continued

more information

The Autism Society is a research organization Provides information on autism.

Sources: Karl Lundin Remnelius, PhD student, Karolinska Institute and Center for Neurodevelopment Disorders at Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden; Pamela Feliciano, Ph.D., Simons Powering Autism Research (SPARK), New York City, Virtual Annual Meeting of the International Association for Autism Research, May 3, 2021


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