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Eating Behaviors of Children with Autism—Pilot Study

Child Development Support Center “Persevere”, Kępowa 56, 40-583 Katowice, Poland
Department of Pediatrics and Pediatric Endocrinology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Medical University of Silesia, 40-583 Katowice, Poland
Department of Pediatric Neurology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Medical University of Silesia, 40-583 Katowice, Poland
CZP Feniks, Daily Ward for Children and Adolescents, Młyńska 8, 44-100 Gliwice, Poland
Department of Anatomy, School of Health Sciences, Medical University of Silesia, 40-752 Katowice, Poland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Antonio Narzisi
Nutrients 2021, 13(8), 2687;
Received: 7 July 2021 / Revised: 27 July 2021 / Accepted: 29 July 2021 / Published: 3 August 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition Profiles in Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders)
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is the most recognized neuropsychiatric disorder of childhood. Comorbid conditions (such as feeding disorders) are more common among people with autism than among the general population. The most frequent somatic disorders in autistic children include the gastrointestinal disorders observed in 46–91% of patients. The purpose of this study was the evaluation of the nutrition of children with autism, with particular emphasis placed on feeding in the first year of life, in comparison to the group of healthy peers. Participants included 75 Caucasian children (41 children diagnosed with pure autism, and the control group consisting of 34 children without autistic traits). The analysis was performed based on a questionnaire of own design with the first part devoted to the eating practices of the early infancy. Results: Autistic children, as compared to the healthy peers, presented a shortened time of breastfeeding (the children fell asleep at the breast) (p = 0.04), a delayed introduction of dairy products (p = 0.001), the need of more trials to introduce new foods (p = 0.006), a delayed introduction of foods with solid and lumpy structure (p = 0.004), a longer duration of bottle feeding (p = 0.005), delayed attempts to eating using own hands (p = 0.006) and needed a greater support of parents to divert their attention from food during eating (p = 0.05). Conclusions: 1. The dietary problems are more common among children with the autism spectrum disorder than among the population of healthy children, during the first year of life from the time of introducing the complementary foods. 2. The autistic children experience difficulties with eating and require their parents’ additional involvement significantly more often than their healthy peers. View Full-Text
Keywords: autism spectrum disorder; breastfeeding; complementary food; screen time autism spectrum disorder; breastfeeding; complementary food; screen time
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MDPI and ACS Style

Brzóska, A.; Kazek, B.; Kozioł, K.; Kapinos-Gorczyca, A.; Ferlewicz, M.; Babraj, A.; Makosz-Raczek, A.; Likus, W.; Paprocka, J.; Matusik, P.; Emich-Widera, E. Eating Behaviors of Children with Autism—Pilot Study. Nutrients 2021, 13, 2687.

AMA Style

Brzóska A, Kazek B, Kozioł K, Kapinos-Gorczyca A, Ferlewicz M, Babraj A, Makosz-Raczek A, Likus W, Paprocka J, Matusik P, Emich-Widera E. Eating Behaviors of Children with Autism—Pilot Study. Nutrients. 2021; 13(8):2687.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Brzóska, Anna, Beata Kazek, Karolina Kozioł, Agnieszka Kapinos-Gorczyca, Małgorzata Ferlewicz, Agnieszka Babraj, Anna Makosz-Raczek, Wirginia Likus, Justyna Paprocka, Paweł Matusik, and Ewa Emich-Widera. 2021. "Eating Behaviors of Children with Autism—Pilot Study" Nutrients 13, no. 8: 2687.

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