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Pediatría (Asunción)

versão On-line ISSN 1683-9803


OJEDA BENITEZ, Ada Liz; RECALDE GIMENEZ, Ariel Antonio  e  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.

Palavras-chave : Autism spectrum disorders; nutritional status; nutrition plan.

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