There is a growing interest in the relationship between autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) and eating disorders (EDs), two relatively common conditions lying on a spectrum from mild to severe clinical features. However, only limited data are available about pathological eating behaviors throughout adults on the autistic spectrum. The aim of the present study is to assess dysfunctional eating behaviors, including EDs manifestations and ASDs-related eating disturbances, in a population of adults with ASDs without intellectual disabilities. We recruited 106 adults on the autistic spectrum, without intellectual disability and 103 neurotypical adults (NAs). Participants completed the “Eating Attitude Test” (EAT-26), to measure symptoms and concerns characteristic of EDs, and the “Swedish Eating Assessment for Autism Spectrum Disorders” (SWEAA), to assess eating behaviors frequently observed within the autistic spectrum. Participants with ASDs scored significantly higher than NA at the EAT-26 and at the SWEAA. Moreover, participants with ASDs scored higher than NA at the EAT-26 subscales Dieting and Bulimia. The difference between groups remained significant after controlling for the effect of age, biological sex, and BMI. These results suggest that adults with ASDs without intellectual disability presented not only a higher prevalence of eating disturbances typical of the autistic spectrum, but also other symptoms of EDs in comparison to NA. Lay Summary: For both scales assessing eating disturbances (EAT-26 and SWEAA), participants with ASDs scored higher than NA, presenting a higher prevalence both of eating disturbances typical of ASDs and of ED symptoms (distorted body image, tendency toward bulimic behaviors, and self-control of eating).

Eating disturbances in adults with autism spectrum disorder without intellectual disabilities / B. Demartini, V. Nistico, V. Bertino, R. Tedesco, R. Faggioli, A. Priori, O. Gambini. - In: AUTISM RESEARCH. - ISSN 1939-3792. - 14:7(2021 Jul), pp. 1434-1443. [10.1002/aur.2500]

Eating disturbances in adults with autism spectrum disorder without intellectual disabilities

B. Demartini
;
V. Nistico;V. Bertino;R. Tedesco;A. Priori;O. Gambini
2021

Abstract

There is a growing interest in the relationship between autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) and eating disorders (EDs), two relatively common conditions lying on a spectrum from mild to severe clinical features. However, only limited data are available about pathological eating behaviors throughout adults on the autistic spectrum. The aim of the present study is to assess dysfunctional eating behaviors, including EDs manifestations and ASDs-related eating disturbances, in a population of adults with ASDs without intellectual disabilities. We recruited 106 adults on the autistic spectrum, without intellectual disability and 103 neurotypical adults (NAs). Participants completed the “Eating Attitude Test” (EAT-26), to measure symptoms and concerns characteristic of EDs, and the “Swedish Eating Assessment for Autism Spectrum Disorders” (SWEAA), to assess eating behaviors frequently observed within the autistic spectrum. Participants with ASDs scored significantly higher than NA at the EAT-26 and at the SWEAA. Moreover, participants with ASDs scored higher than NA at the EAT-26 subscales Dieting and Bulimia. The difference between groups remained significant after controlling for the effect of age, biological sex, and BMI. These results suggest that adults with ASDs without intellectual disability presented not only a higher prevalence of eating disturbances typical of the autistic spectrum, but also other symptoms of EDs in comparison to NA. Lay Summary: For both scales assessing eating disturbances (EAT-26 and SWEAA), participants with ASDs scored higher than NA, presenting a higher prevalence both of eating disturbances typical of ASDs and of ED symptoms (distorted body image, tendency toward bulimic behaviors, and self-control of eating).
Autism Spectrum Disorder; body image; eating disorders; eating problems; intellectual disabilities; SWEAA
Settore MED/25 - Psichiatria
18-mar-2021
Article (author)
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/841884
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