International Journal of Diabetes & Metabolic Syndrome

Open Access


Autism Spectrum Disorder and Obesity: A Unique Challenge

Dr. James Mackintosh

Obesity is a significant problem in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder. Understanding that individuals with autism spectrum disorder may have different predisposing factors to weight gain compared to their neurotypical peers is important for those involved in their care and treatment. These factors include medication related weight gain, behaviour management using food to re-enforce positive behaviours, restrictive eating patterns and sensory processing differences. Effectively addressing weight gain in individuals with autism spectrum disorder requires a person specific approach and significant involvement of parents and carers. Parents, carers, and clinicians need to be willing to examine and potentially change their practice to overcome autism specific drivers of obesity.

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