SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.40 issue2Nutritional Status of Pregnant Women in the Last Month of Pregnancy and its Relation to Anthropometric Measurements in NewbornsCharacteristics of Pulmonary Complications Associated with Mechanical Ventilation in Newborns author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

Services on Demand




  • Have no cited articlesCited by SciELO

Related links

  • Have no similar articlesSimilars in SciELO


Pediatría (Asunción)

On-line version ISSN 1683-9803


OJEDA BENITEZ, Ada Liz; RECALDE GIMENEZ, Ariel Antonio  and  SANCHEZ BERNAL, Susana Florentina. Nutritional Profile of Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders in the Metropolitan Area of Asuncion, Paraguay. Pediatr. (Asunción) [online]. 2013, vol.40, n.2, pp.133-143. ISSN 1683-9803.

Introduction: Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are a body of conditions linked to neurological development. The intrinsic limitations of the disease are often accompanied by other problems, among them problems related to nutrition. Objective: To determine the nutritional profile and dietary habits of a population of children and adolescents from the Asuncion metropolitan areas diagnosed with ASD. Methodology: We conducted a pilot cross-sectional observational study in adolescents aged 4-18 years. Results: We included 31 subjects with a mean age of 9.6 ±3.4 years, of whom 27 (87%) were male; Of the 31, 15 (48%) were of normal body weight, 2 (7%) malnourished, 1 (3%) at risk of malnutrition, 10 (32%) overweight, and 3 (10%) obese, while 3 (10%) were of short stature, 5 (16%) at risk of short stature and the remainder of normal stature.  Of the total, 14 (45%) followed a special nutritional plan, most (n: 10) including avoiding gluten and specific carbohydrates. Calorie intake was 2051 ±473 kcal and protein intake 85 ±27 g., equivalent to 104% and 297% of the recommended intake. No significant differences between those consuming a special diet and others were found in height/age z-scores (0.35 vs. 0.91 SD, Mann-Whitney p=0.05) or the BMI z-score (0.37 vs. 0.73 SD, Mann-Whitney p=0.9).Improved height/age z-scores (0.51 vs. 0.73, Mann-Whitney p=0.037) was found for subjects whose mothers had 12 or more years of formal education. No difference was found for mean BMI/age or height/age z-scores according to diagnosis of ASD (Kruskal-Wallis p=0.6 vs. p=0.2). Conclusions: The majority of subjects showed normal nutritional status. One-third were overweight. Protein consumption was high. Mean height was improved in children and adolescents of mothers with higher educational levels.

Keywords : Autism spectrum disorders; nutritional status; nutrition plan.

        · abstract in Spanish     · text in Spanish     · Spanish ( pdf )


Creative Commons License All the contents of this journal, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License