By Anne Dachel
Read Anne's commentary and view the links after the jump. The Dachel Media Update is sponsored by Aperture International.
Nov 22, 2015, OregonLive.com (Portland): Autism linked to unhealthy weight in OHSU study
Children with an autism diagnosis are more likely to be overweight or obese than kids of the same age without the disorder, according to a study from Oregon Health & Science University. . . .
With one in 68 U.S. children diagnosed with autism, unhealthy weight in this population is a public health issue, the study said.
The study listed several possible reasons for unhealthy weight among kids with autism: They tend to have narrower food preferences, spend more time in sedentary activities and take drugs whose side effects include weight gain. . . .
The observational study collected the heights and weights of 5,000 children between the ages of 2 and 17 who were enrolled in the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network from 2008 to 2013 in 19 sites in the U.S. and Canada. . . .
But Dr. Fulgencio del Castillo, a developmental pediatrician with Providence Health & Services who was not involved in the study, called it "powerful," saying it confirms what many developmental pediatricians have observed.
It's easy for parents to understand why a child with autism might be overweight. A lot of behavioral issues could be involved. It's amazing that experts can spend time and money on this, with the cooperation of Autism Speaks, and yet NEVER look at a similar number of fully-vaccinated and never-vaccinated children to compare their autism rates.
This is "autism busywork." It's a show for the public so they'll think someone is doing something. I'm sure someone proposed a study to see if kids with ASD are more prone to obesity. This is the kind of thing that will get funded--because it has NOTHING TO DO WITH WHAT AUTISM IS DOING TO OUR CHILDREN OR ITS CAUSE. It continues the myth that autism is a curiosity that we have all the time in the world to figure out.
It's similar to the periodic studies that come out associating autism with paternal choices/behavior: fat moms, old moms, moms who marry old dads, moms who live too close to freeways, moms who have babies too close together, moms who drink, moms who smoke, moms who take antidepressants, moms who don't take enough folic acid, and the list goes on.
And, if all else fails, redo the research a couple of years later, hoping that the public doesn't see this as the same old same old. The most important feature of this kind of study is that it is never conclusive. The endgame is always the same: autism will remain a perpetual mystery involving so many possible factors it's impossible to know anything for sure.
Jul, 2013, CBS News: Study: Autism risk tied to mom's obesity during pregnancy
If mothers' obesity is truly related to autism, it would be only one of many contributing factors, said Coury, who was not involved in the study.
What other factors have been linked to autism? Genetics, mothers' illnesses and use of certain medicines during pregnancy are a few, according to the CDC.
April, 2012, NPR: Study Warns Of Autism Risk For Children Of Obese Mothers
A new study in the journal Pediatrics suggests that moms who are obese or have diabetes are more likely to have a child with autism or another developmental problem.
The finding is "worrisome in light of this rather striking epidemic of obesity" in the U.S., says Irva Hertz-Picciotto from the MIND Institute at the University of California, Davis, one of the study's authors.
But it's not clear whether there's any connection between rising obesity rates and the increasing number of children diagnosed with autism, she says.
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Anne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism and author of The Big Autism Cover-Up: How and Why the Media Is Lying to the American Public, which is on sale now from Skyhorse Publishing.