Natural Solutions Radio header image

How obesity is linked to autism

(NaturalHealth365) Several studies have linked obesity with autism. In a study published in Pediatrics, pregnant mothers who were obese during pregnancy were about 67% more likely than pregnant mothers who maintained a normal weight to have autistic children. The obese mothers also faced double the risk of having children with other developmental delays.

In fact, in the study mentioned above, researchers observed a link not only with obesity, but with hypertension and gestational diabetes to autism and developmental delays.

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, more than half of pregnant women are overweight or obese. Women who are normal weight at the start of pregnancy are supposed to gain 25 to 35 pounds. Those who already are obese should gain no more than 11 to 20 pounds. It is believed that if a mothers’ obesity is related to autism, it would be only one of many contributing factors.

Children with autism are more likely to be obese

This sounds contradictory. So many of us parents lament over how picky our children are when it comes to their diets, however a study published in Childhood Obesity states that more than 30% of kids with autism are overweight or obese. According to researchers, this is significantly higher than the 12 – 24% in the general population of children.

Children diagnosed with more severe autism are at higher risk of being overweight or obese than children diagnosed with milder forms. It is not clear why, but there is speculation that finicky eating coupled with inactivity due to motor planning issues are factors.

A paper published in the Journal of Child Neurology reported the case of a child who was placed on a GFCF diet and later on a ketogenic diet – that was modified to make it GFCF. This child had improvements with their seizure activity, resolution of morbid obesity and improvement of cognitive and behavioral features. The child’s CARS score went from 49 to 17 representing a change from severe autism to non-autistic. And, her IQ increased by 70 points!

Natural health strategies for autistic children with body weight issues

I work with overweight and obese children (and adults) in my clinic and there are items that have helped clients make progress and achieve a healthy weight. As with any weight management program, it’s always best to begin before pregnancy so that your body is better prepared for the task of carrying a baby.

With children, particularly children with autism, assuring they have all the proper nutrients while they are slimming down is essential.

Some of the strategies I use are…

Sonic Whole Body Vibration (SWBV) – Using SWBV three times a week has been shown to help with MS, Parkinson’s, neurological disorders, fibromyalgia and metabolism. SWBV is not recommended during pregnancy.

Physical Activity – For kids with autism are often in a lot of therapies and prefer computer games and television so we need to find what motivates them. A treadmill or trampoline or if possible, a simply walk around the block are good places to start.

Homeopathics – Finding the remedy that will help support the body during weight loss through a qualified homeopath will help yield the best results.

Nutritional Planning – This is particularly important pre-pregnancy as well as during pregnancy. Eating organic meats, fruits and vegetables in appropriate portions is truly the key.

Supplementation – While losing weight you need to assure that you are getting all of your nutrients. It’s ideal to get it from food, but even on the best meal plans, we need to supplement depending on what our bodies need. I use a device called REBA to help determine which supplements will be helpful to lose weight as well as stay nutritionally balanced.

- See more at: