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Open AccessArticle

Early History, Mealtime Environment, and Parental Views on Mealtime and Eating Behaviors among Children with ASD in Florida

1
College of Public Health, University of South Florida, 13201 Bruce B Downs Blvd, Tampa, FL 33612, USA
2
Center for Autism & Related Disabilities and Department of Child and Family Studies, University of South Florida, 13301 Bruce B Downs Blvd, Tampa, FL 33612, USA
3
Department of Pediatrics, University of South Florida, 13101 Bruce B Downs Blvd, Tampa, FL 33612, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2018, 10(12), 1867; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10121867
Received: 8 August 2018 / Revised: 10 November 2018 / Accepted: 22 November 2018 / Published: 2 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Autism and Nutrition Proposal)
This study was a cross-sectional study to examine problematic mealtime behaviors among children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in Florida. Forty-one parents completed a 48-item survey. The mean age of their children was 8.1 years and 73% were male. The data were divided and compared by age group: Ages 2–6, 7–11, and 12–17. Data from the 3- to 6-year-old children were extracted and compared with the references from Provost et al. (2010). There were age differences in eating difficulties at home (p = 0.013), fast food restaurants (p = 0.005), and at regular restaurants (p = 0.016). The total mealtime behavior score was significantly higher in early childhood (p < 0.001) and mid-childhood (p = 0.005) than adolescents. More parents of ages 3–6 with ASD reported difficulties with breastfeeding (p < 0.01); concerns about eating (p < 0.001); difficulties related to mealtime locations (p < 0.05), craving certain food (p < 0.05), and being picky eaters (p < 0.01) compared to typically developing children. The total mealtime behavior score was significantly higher in children with ASD than typically developing children (p < 0.001). The results indicate that early childhood interventions are warranted and further research in adolescents is needed. View Full-Text
Keywords: autism spectrum disorder; mealtime behavior; children; diet; feeding behavior autism spectrum disorder; mealtime behavior; children; diet; feeding behavior
MDPI and ACS Style

Gray, H.L.; Sinha, S.; Buro, A.W.; Robinson, C.; Berkman, K.; Agazzi, H.; Shaffer-Hudkins, E. Early History, Mealtime Environment, and Parental Views on Mealtime and Eating Behaviors among Children with ASD in Florida. Nutrients 2018, 10, 1867. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10121867

AMA Style

Gray HL, Sinha S, Buro AW, Robinson C, Berkman K, Agazzi H, Shaffer-Hudkins E. Early History, Mealtime Environment, and Parental Views on Mealtime and Eating Behaviors among Children with ASD in Florida. Nutrients. 2018; 10(12):1867. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10121867

Chicago/Turabian Style

Gray, Heewon L.; Sinha, Sweta; Buro, Acadia W.; Robinson, Chantell; Berkman, Karen; Agazzi, Heather; Shaffer-Hudkins, Emily. 2018. "Early History, Mealtime Environment, and Parental Views on Mealtime and Eating Behaviors among Children with ASD in Florida" Nutrients 10, no. 12: 1867. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10121867

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