Keeping weight off is difficult for 26-year-old Cassidy Bauer, who is only 4-and-a-half-feet tall. But Bauer and her mother say they’ve had help from UMass Medical School’s Health U weight loss program for people with intellectual disabilities, which has taught them about proper nutrition, exercise and lifestyle changes, according to an article in the Telegram & Gazette Aug. 26.
UMass Medical School researchers recommend physicians and clinicians look into the mealtimes of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) after their study found that this population of children has high food selectivity and more mealtime behavior problems. The study was featured in an Autism Speaks Science News article July 7.
A large population study is needed to find the true links between autism and obesity, Carol Curtin, MSW, a research assistant professor at UMass Medical School, told SFARI Autism News.
“Most large nationally representative datasets do not include children with autism," said Curtin, who has focused some of her work on the association between disabilities and weight. Existing studies rely on limited data from parents, she said.
UMass Medical School research has found that children with autism spectrum disorders are at equal or greater risk of developing obesity compared to their peers, according to an article in The Huffington Post.