OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study is to critically review existing literature concerning the possible association between autistic-like behaviours and problematic eating behaviours in nonclinical populations.
METHOD: We performed a systematic literature search in three large databases. Studies were included if they assessed any association between a broad range of autistic-like behaviours and problematic eating behaviours in nonclinical samples.
RESULTS: Sixteen eligible studies were found covering 3,595 participants in total, including five studies on children/adolescents (n = 685). All studies were cross-sectional, and thus, only concurrent associations could be evaluated. Several autistic-like behaviours were found to be associated with problematic eating behaviours, with the overall "autism spectrum quotient," deficiencies in set-shifting, and theory of mind showing the strongest associations.
CONCLUSIONS: The existing literature indicates concurrent associations between specific autistic-like behaviours and problematic eating behaviours in nonclinical samples across ages. Large prospective longitudinal studies are needed for insight into the temporal order of these associations.
|Journal||European eating disorders review : the journal of the Eating Disorders Association|
|Number of pages||16|
|Publication status||Published - Jan 2019|
- Autistic Disorder/epidemiology
- Cross-Sectional Studies
- Feeding and Eating Disorders/epidemiology