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The Relationship between Diet and Autism Spectrum Disorder

Presenters Name: 
Divya Kalluri
Co Presenters Name: 
Primary Research Mentor: 
Sibylle Kranz
Secondary Research Mentor: 
12:30 - 1:45
Time of Presentation: 
2019 - 12:30pm to 1:45pm
Newcomb Hall Ballroom
Presentation Type: 
Presentations Academic Category: 
Grant Program Recipient: 
USOAR Program

This research project is designed to collect data about the diet of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to analyze how their diet may differ from those without this disease, and if these differences affect the development of autistic behavioral symptoms. To collect data, parents of children with ASD were asked to fill out a Qualtrics online questionnaire that asks them about their child’s behavior, physical activity, and diets. The questions range from asking what food groups the family’s diet include to asking how frequently their child eats foods from specific food groups. Currently, the data collection is ongoing. Based on literature reviews and prior research, it is likely that diet does differ between children with and without ASD, mainly because children with ASD have reportedly stronger aversions to certain food groups (for example vegetables and leafy greens). These dietary differences may play a role in the development of ASD symptoms, such as the development of obesity. Furthermore, the imbalances of certain vitamins due to a lack of specific foods in their diet may potentially affect neural development and emotional behavior in children with ASD. Results from this study will provide novel data, and we hope that we will be able to offer new approaches to treating ASD.