NEW STUDY EXAMINES EARLY LIFE RISK FACTORS FOR OBESITY AMONG CHILDREN WITH AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER
Childhood obesity is one of the serious health concerns largely impacting children’s health and this issue hasn’t tackled widely yet.
Stated in a recent news release, children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has been found to be more likely to have obesity compared to their peers with typical development, data show.
A new study from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing (Penn Nursing) examining early life risk factors for obesity among children with ASD, developmental delays or disorders, and children from the general population, is among the first to show that children with ASD had the highest frequency of rapid weight gain during the first six months of life, putting them at higher risk for childhood obesity.
“Healthy growth patterns during infancy, in particular, may carry special importance for children at increased risk for an ASD diagnosis, including high-risk populations such as former premature infants, younger siblings of children with ASD, children with genetic disorders that predispose to ASD and others,” said Tanja Kral, PhD, Associate Professor of Nursing in the Department of Biobehavioral Health Sciences and lead author of the study.
The study also exposed that mothers across all groups with pre-pregnancy overweight or obesity were almost 2.5 times more likely to have a child with overweight or obesity at ages 2-5 than other mothers. The risk for childhood obesity across all groups was also 1.5 times greater for mothers who exceeded the recommendations for weight gain during pregnancy.
“Helping mothers achieve a healthy pre-pregnancy weight and adequate gestational weight gain and fostering healthy growth during infancy represent important targets for all children,” explained Kral.
The study has been published online in the journal Autism.
Erudite Nursing Institute™ hopes that this new study could shed light in discovering new mechanisms concerning increased obesity risk in children with ASD offering effective targets to mitigate the condition in an earlier phase.
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