Feeding and Eating Disorders Have an Association with Neuropsychiatric Disorders, Reports a New Study
Published, May 28, 2013
According to a new study conducted in Sweden, children with neuropsychiatric disorders such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorders (ASD) show a high prevalence of feeding and eating disorders (FED). Although the prevalence of clinical eating disorders is low among developing younger children, some degree of milder eating problems is relatively common. Further, children with eating disorders tend to show a presence of co-morbid mental disorders. A recent study from Sweden determined the overlap and association of eating disorders with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in children.
In the study the authors interviewed parents of 9- and 12-year-old twin pairs born between 1993 and 1998. The parents were asked about the symptoms of ADHD, ASD, and eating problems in their children. The authors found that prevalence of ADHD and/or ASD was significantly high among children with eating disorders. The statistical analysis showed that 40 percent of children with eating disorder had mental disorder like ADHD and/or ASD whereas only 10 percent children without eating disorders showed such mental disorder. Girls with eating disorders showed significant impaired social interaction where as boys showed impulsivity and activity problems. Since this study involved twin pairs, the authors also tried to find the genetic influences of eating disorders. They found that common genetic and environmental effects had low co-relation between eating disorders and ADHD/ASD.
Observing the finding of the study, the authors commented that there is an overlap between presence of eating disorders and ASHD/ASD. Therefore, neurodevelopmental disorders should be considered inchildren with eating disorders and similarly, eating problems should be considered in children with ADHD and/or ASD.
Råstam M, Täljemark J. Eating Problems and Overlap with ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorders in a Nationwide Twin Study of 9- and 12-Year-Old Children. The Scientific World Journal.2013; Article ID 315429.