Autistic children are slower to eat solids and are pickier eaters than other children, but, overall, they are just as well nourished. Researchers from the University of Bristol collected information about the eating habits of nearly 13,000 children born in South-West England in 1991 or 1992. The parents of the children who were later diagnosed with autism were more likely to report that their children had feeding difficulties between 15 and 54 months including being very difficult to feed, very choosy and eating non-food objects. For children between the ages of four and five about 26% of parents said their autistic children were difficult to feed compared to only 10% of unaffected children. However, by the time the children reached seven there was no difference in height, weight and body-mass-index between the children with and without autism. The autistic children ate fewer vegetables, salads and fresh fruit but also consumed fewer sweets and fizzy drinks. Overall the children consumed similar amounts of calories, fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Apart from small differences in levels of Vitamins C and D the children also got similar levels of nutrients.
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