Nutrient Intake among Children with Autism

Erin Moore, Tina Crook, Jil


The objective of this study was to examine adequacy of nutrient intake and determine the impact of multivitamin use on nutrient intake in children with autism. This was a retrospective analysis of food frequency questionnaire data collected from 54 children, ages 2-8 years, in the Autism Integrated Metabolic and Genomic Endeavor Study at Arkansas Children’s Hospital Research Institute, Little Rock, AR. The average percent of Kilocalories from carbohydrate, protein and fat fell within the acceptable macronutrient distribution ranges at 56%, 14% and 33%, respectively. Mean intakes for calcium, potassium, vitamin E, vitamin D and fiber were below the dietary reference intake (DRI) levels at 75%, 57%, 77%, 25% and 41%, respectively. Mean intakes of vitamin A, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin C, and vitamin B6 exceeded the DRI at 216%, 233%, 270%, 452% and 228%, respectively. No differences were found in vitamin D, vitamin E, calcium, total kilocalorie, carbohydrate, protein and fat intake between children who were multivitamin users and those who were non-users. These data indicate that children with autism have diets adequate in kilocalories and macronutrients, while imbalances exist in fiber and several micronutrients. Dietary interventions for children with autism should be aimed at addressing these potential nutritional imbalances.\r\n

Relevant Publications in Journal of Nutritional Disorders & Therapy