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Obes Rev. 2019 Dec;20(12):1667-1679. doi: 10.1111/obr.12933. Epub 2019 Oct 8.

The risk of overweight and obesity in children with autism spectrum disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Author information

1
Department of Human Development and Family Studies, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, USA.
2
Department of Laboratory Sciences and Primary Care, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, Texas, USA.
3
Department of Psychiatry, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, Texas, USA.
4
Obesity Research Institute, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, USA.
5
The Burkhart Center for Autism Education and Research, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, USA.
6
Department of Nutritional Sciences, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, USA.
7
Department of Plant and Soil Science, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, USA.

Abstract

Multiple studies have suggested that autism spectrum disorders seem to increase the risk of overweight and obesity. We examined the pooled prevalence and relative risk of developing overweight or obesity among children with autism spectrum disorders in a systematic review and meta-analysis. We searched PubMed, Scopus, ProQuest, and Web of Science databases and subsequently screened the records to identify studies that reported prevalence of overweight and/or obesity in children with ASD and matched groups of neurotypical children. DerSimonian-Laird random-effects meta-analyses were performed to examine pooled prevalence and relative risk of obesity in children with autism spectrum disorders using the "meta" package in R software. Among children with autism spectrum disorders, the prevalence of obesity was 22.2%. Children with ASD had a 41.1% greater risk (P = .018) of development of obesity. Non-Caucasian race, increasing age, female sex, and living in the United States emerged as positive moderators of the association between autism spectrum disorders and prevalence of overweight or obesity. Autism spectrum disorders seem to increase the risk of childhood obesity. Increased awareness of this association may allow the implementation of early interventions to reduce obesity and prevent potential deterioration of quality-of-life in this population.

KEYWORDS:

autism; meta-analysis; obesity; prevalence; relative risk

PMID:
31595678
DOI:
10.1111/obr.12933

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