Food and Behaviour Research

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Correlates of Feeding Difficulties Among Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Systematic Review

Page S, Souders M, Kral T, Chao A, Pinto-Martin J (2021) Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders doi: 10.1007/s10803-021-04947-4  

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Feeding difficulties related to selective intake, or eating a limited variety of foods, are very common in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). A systematic search of PubMed, Embase, PsycInfo, and CINAHL identified 29 studies that evaluated eight correlates: age, ASD symptoms and severity, cognitive and adaptive skills, sensory processing and perception, challenging behavior, weight status, gastrointestinal symptoms, and parenting stress. Feeding difficulties related to selective intake are consistently correlated with impaired sensory processing and perception and tend to be positively associated with rigidity and challenging behavior. These feeding difficulties tend to persist with advancing age. Other correlates demonstrated inconsistent findings. A significant limitation of research reviewed is variability in terminology, definitions, and measurement of feeding