Why Is Obesity More Common in Individuals with Autism?
Also inside: Benefits of physical activity?  Is your child a picky eater? and upcoming events ... 
February 7, 2018
Researchers at CAR are working hard to understand the role of obesity, diet and physical activity in autism.
In this Issue: Autism and Obesity

For the general population, there is a mountain of evidence that lifestyle factors like physical activity and diet play a major role in the prevention of chronic health problems, such as Type 2 Diabetes or heart disease, as well as maintaining good mental health and well-being. However, evidence for the impact of these lifestyle factors on individuals with autism is not so easy to come by. 

Until recently, the quest to uncover all of the why's and how's of autism have dominated the field of autism research, while factors affecting the overall health and well-being of individuals with autism have received significantly less attention. 

Each article in this issue of Dispatch delves into prevalence of obesity in autism, the behavioral and mood benefits of physical activity, and addressing food selectivity associated with autism. Read on to learn more...
Susan E. Levy, MD, MPH, is studying the relationship between obesity and the severity of ASD symptoms
Obesity is a weighty issue for children with autism: but why?

"Obesity is emerging as a very important area of research within the autism community," says Susan E. Levy, MD, MPH , Medical Director at the Center for Autism Research at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.  "We need more research to fully understand the scope of the problem of obesity." 

Read more about the what is known about why obesity is more common among individuals with autism. 
The benefits of physical activity for children with autism may reach far beyond healthy weight. 
Ready! Set! Go! Benefits of Physical Activity for Individuals with Autism

Increasing physical activity may not directly result in weight loss, but it does provide clear and important benefits to overall health and well-being. Dr. Joseph McCleery, a developmental psychologist at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, explores the psychological benefits of physical activity in children with autism.

Read more about Dr. McCleery's work and the impact of physical activity on children with autism

Why is food selectivity common for children with autism? 
Vegetables are Yucky! Coping with Food Selectivity and Autism

Why is picky eating common among children with autism? Food selectively may occur for a variety of reasons: aversions to a particular taste, texture, smell or brand of food, gastrointestinal problems, or previous negative experience are among the common possibilities. 

"Finding the right treatment for a child with food selectivity is critical" says Emily S. Kuschner, PhD, a licensed clinical psychologist at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia specializing in food selectivity.  

Congratulations to our Super Bowl Champion Eagles! 

Now We're Determined to be Champions in Autism Research! Will You Join Us in Taking the Challenge?

Friday and Saturday, May 18th- 19th, join the Philadelphia Eagles players, alumni, coaches, executives, cheerleaders and SWOOP on Lincoln Financial Filed for the 
Eagles Autism Challenge bike race and 5K run/walk to 
raise funds for innovative autism research and programs at CHOP, Drexel University, and Thomas Jefferson University. 

We'd love to have you on our team! Click here to join or donate to Team CAR


Learn more and start your own team at  www.EaglesAutismChallenge.org.
Upcoming Workshops & Events

Thursday, March 22, 2018 -  9am-4pm

Sunday, April 22, 2018 - 9am-1:30pm

Wednesday, May 30, 2018 - 9am-4pm

boy w. magnifying glass
You Can Help Us Learn More about ASD!

Advances in understanding autism and related disorders are only possible as a direct result of the participation of individuals and families. We have opportunities for all ages, and you do not need an autism diagnosis to participate.

Simply put - scientists cannot make real progress without your help. We need you!
Learn about current studies 

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The Center for Autism Research | Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
267-426-7450 | autism@email.chop.edu