Autism and Obesity

Medical records find evidence linking autism to obesity

At least one in every three children and adolescents with autism is overweight or obese, finds a survey of nearly 3,000 individuals with the disorder.

The report, published in the July-August issue of Academic Pediatrics, points to a need for diet and exercise programs that are tailored for people with autism.

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Preventing obesity and overweight has critical implications for the health and quality of life of people with autism, says lead investigator Sarabeth Broder-Fingert, a pediatrician at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children and research fellow with Harvard Pediatric Health Services. “I worry that if a kid has autism and goes to the doctor, [weight issues] might not be addressed because other issues are addressed,” she says.

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