Children with autism characteristics are more likely to develop eating disorders, a study by University College London found.
The researchers concluded that their new findings suggest that childhood autistic features precede eating disorders.
The study, published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, enrolled 5,381 adolescents who participated in the 90s study of children at the University of Bristol.
UCL researchers look for social features of autism (such as communication difficulties) in a 7-year-old child, and then at age 14 identify features of eating disorders such as fasting, purging, long eating, and overeating. I examined whether it shows.
The study found that children at age 7 who were predominantly autistic were 24% more likely to be disturbed weekly by the age of 14.
Researchers say that children with autism often have problems with social communication, which can lead to higher rates of depression and anxiety in younger age groups.
Eating disorders can result from dysfunctional methods of coping with these emotional difficulties, the researchers said.
“The first author of this study, Dr. Francesca Solmi of UCL Psychiatry, said: “We found that infants autistic at age 7 were more likely to develop anorexic symptoms during adolescence than their peers.
“Most other studies looked at snapshots in a timely fashion, rather than tracking people over multiple years, so whether autism increases the risk of eating disorders or whether symptoms of eating disorders are Sometimes it was unclear if it resembled the features of autism. “
The features of autism investigated by researchers were those reported by the mother of the child in a Bristol University study, not a diagnosis of autism.
This means that the findings will include children with autism who may not have been diagnosed, but are not necessarily autism, the researchers said.
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