Obesity in children with autism spectrum disorder

UMMS Affiliation

Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center; Department of Psychiatry; Shriver Center

Publication Date


Document Type



Child; Child Development Disorders, Pervasive; *Comorbidity; Humans; Pediatric Obesity; Quality of Life; Self Care


Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms | Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Mental Disorders | Pediatrics


Research suggests that the prevalence of obesity in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is at least as high as that seen in typically developing children. Many of the risk factors for children with ASD are likely the same as for typically developing children, especially within the context of today's obesogenic environment. The particular needs and challenges that this population faces, however, may render them more susceptible to the adverse effects of typical risk factors, and they may also be vulnerable to additional risk factors not shared by children in the general population, including psychopharmacological treatment, genetics, disordered sleep, atypical eating patterns, and challenges for engaging in sufficient physical activity. For individuals with ASD, obesity and its sequelae potentially represent a significant threat to independent living, self-care, quality of life, and overall health.

DOI of Published Version



Curtin C, Jojic M, Bandini LG. Obesity in children with autism spectrum disorder. Harv Rev Psychiatry. 2014 Mar-Apr;22(2):93-103. doi: 10.1097/HRP.0000000000000031. Review. PubMed PMID: 24614764; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4105159. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Harvard review of psychiatry

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID