TABLE 1

Studies Investigating Nutritional Quality in Children with Autism

StudyNo.of ASD subjectsNo. of Control/Typical SubjectsDietary ToolSignificant Findings
Raiten and Massaro, 19867540347-d Diet Record1. ASD group had significantly greater intake of protein, carbohydrates, niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, calcium, phosphorus, and iron (P < .02)
2. No significant difference in vitamin A, vitamin C, or fat.
Ho et al, 19977654N/A3-d Diet Record1. Only 4 subjects with ASD (7.4%) met recommended servings from all food groups.
2. All subjects had adequate protein intake, but had lower fat intake and higher carbohydrate intake than recommended nutrient intake for Canadians (RNI).
3. 42.6% of subjects were obese.
Cornish, 19987717N/A3-d Dietary Recall Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ)1. Nutrient intakes below RNI levels in 53% of children for one or more of following: vitamin C, vitamin D, niacin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, calcium, and zinc.
2. Calcium and niacin levels >200% or RNI in those children who drank milk.
Lindsay et al, 20067820N/AFFQ1. <80% Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA)/dietary reference intake (DRI) considered inadequate
2. 45% consumed ↓calcium, 30% ↓pantothenic acid, 25% ↓ vitamin D, 40% ↓vitamin K
Levy et al, 20077952N/A3-d Diet Record1. The ASD subjects met 95%–101% of RDA guidelines for calories, carbohydrates, and fat
2. ASD subjects overconsumed protein at 211% of RDA with a range of 67%–436% RDA among subjects
3. This study used 77% of RDA consumption as adequate diet
Lockner et al, 20088020203-d Diet Record1. Vitamins E and A were the least likely to be met by Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) for both groups
2. ASD subjects consumed less calcium and fiber, but with no established EAR, significance was not determined
Schmitt et al, 20088120183-d Diet Record1. This study defined adequate consumption as >67% of DRI
2. Both groups consumed <67% for fiber
3. ASD group consumed <67% for vitamins E and K
Johnson et al, 200871191524-h Recall1. This study considered <80% of RDAs or DRIs as inadequate
2. ASD group consumed significantly less vitamin K and significantly fewer food choices from the vegetable group
Herndon et al, 20098246313-d Diet Record1. ASD children consumed significantly less calcium but consumed increasingly more vitamins B6 and E than controls.
2. ASD children consumed significantly more nondairy proteins and fewer dairy items.
3. Both groups did not meet RDI for fiber, calcium, iron, vitamin D, and vitamin E
Xia et al, 201083111N/A3-d Diet Record1. Comparison with Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI) for Chinese children.
2. Vitamin E and niacin exceeded 100% of DRI
3. Intakes were below DRI for vitamins A, B6 and C, Folic acid, calcium and zinc
Bandini et al, 2010715358Parent Interview1. For both groups, fiber intake was inadequate as was intake of vitamin D, vitamin E, and calcium
FFQ2. For ASD children, inadequate intake of vitamin D and calcium was more frequent
3-d Diet Diary3. ASD children had a higher number of nutrients at inadequate intake levels.
4. A limited food repertoire, but not food refusal, was associated with higher nutritional inadequacy for both groups
Zimmer et al, 2011842222FFQ1. ASD children had higher intakes of magnesium
2. ASD children had lower intakes of protein, calcium, vitamin B12, and vitamin D.
3. Selective eaters with ASD had greater likelihood of inadequate intake of calcium, vitamin B12, zinc, and vitamin D
4. Selective eaters with ASD compared with nonselective eaters with ASD had greater likelihood of inadequate intake of calcium.
5. ASD children had less food variety than typically developing children