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laurasd
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21 Mar 2017, 8:54 am

Hi Guys,

So i as recently watching a video made by an autism charity. It was discussing issues that affect autism that arent really talked about much, and obecity was one of them. I was wondering if anyone knows why we (autistic individuals) are more likely to have a weight problem? Is it a genetic factor, or maybe because of isolation ?



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21 Mar 2017, 10:05 am

I could hazard a guess that some treatments of conditions often associated with autism can cause obesity - many autistic people also experience depression, OCD, anxiety etc, and the drugs used to treat those conditions often have weight gain as a side effect. Plus things like social phobia may encourage an autistic person to just stay indoors, too paranoid to go out and do things because others are inevitably watching.
Autistics, like anyone else, can also have issues with substance, and if it's with things like weed or alcohol, that can pack on the weight too. Sensory issues may also limit food choices, so the person may be restricted to eating only a narrow selection of foods because of texture, which may be high in fats.
I've never read any conclusive studies which purely link autism with obesity though.


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21 Mar 2017, 10:41 am

laurASD wrote:
Hi Guys,

So I as recently watching a video made by an autism charity. It was discussing issues that affect autism that isn't really talked about much, and one city was one of them. I was wondering if anyone knows why we (autistic individuals) are more likely to have a weight problem? Is it a genetic factor, or maybe because of isolation?

I've always had a weight problem. It's been more of an underweight problem, though. So, I'm just going to slowly walk out of this conversation. walks out of the room. My Grammar troubles are getting better. :) I seem to be making fewer grammar mistakes which are pretty often. Though some of my problems aren't going away. like I still misspell a lot of words. Words that I know how to spell too. Like misspell. I'd like to add that Medicines that are used to treat ADHD, and often autism. Can cause weight loss.


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21 Mar 2017, 11:41 am

I suspect sensory issues and rigidity of food preferences play a part. They certainly limit me with my eating.

Also, there is a chance that autistic people aren't getting out and about as much as others, and are staying sedentary at home. That used to be me, too.

And that autistic people can be limited with regards to exercise options. I can't go to the gym because it causes anxiety. I can't do fitness classes because I am simply incapable of assimilating the move that someone is performing, and working out how to do it myself. I do go swimming very frequently, but I am still obese. I suspect many autistic people are also restricted in their ability to swim, due to sensory issues or not being physically able to.

For me, it all combines. Limited exercise options, limited foods and limited 'out and about' time.



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21 Mar 2017, 12:22 pm

Living as a trigolyte for the past 9 years, I must confess that I have had battles with both obesity and anorexia. I ascribe my struggles to social anxiety, OCD, self-hatred and depression. One could argue that they are all consequences of being on the spectrum, though. Food can become the centre of one's attention when one has limited interests, no creative outlet and has no one to speak to. Whilst medication has helped somewhat in this regard, I still do struggle with mindless eating even now. Years spent in isolation has made me realise that I took my ex-friends for granted all of those years ago.


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Keigan
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21 Mar 2017, 12:28 pm

From a DNA perspective there have been no studies that would identify obesity being a component of ASD. Plenty of studies on obesity alone.



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21 Mar 2017, 1:44 pm

I'm always hearing that aspies are thin or underweight. I wish that were true because then *I* wouldn't be fat. It's a problem I've had nearly all my life and my mom put a lot of pressure on me to lose it when I was maybe 6 or 7 years old. It might be due to my profound hatred of exercising (although someone told me not long ago I'm more active than I think), my genetic heritage, and maybe the fact that I eat mostly in the evening and at night. Although I heard that saying "Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and eat like a pauper" was fine back when most people spent the entire day doing hard labor and that calories get stored as fat if you don't burn them off, no mater what time of day you consume. I just don't usually feel much like eating during the day and everything seems to suddenly taste a lot better at midnight, anyway. I wonder why that is.

Sometimes I wish human beings didn't have this emotional attraction to food. We should eat to live and not live to eat. But the pleasure cause from eating is about the only kind to many of us get. Apparently along with all your other problems you get in your 40's your metabolism becomes like that of snakes that swallow an entire pig and them go for months without eating. :(



laurasd
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21 Mar 2017, 2:47 pm

I have trouble with weight, and am classed as severely obese or whatever the medical term is. I eat impulsively and sometimes dont notice that i am doing it, almost absent mindedly really. Im not too fussed about loosing weight though, i have tried dieting before and it hasnt worked so im happy letting my weight do what it wants. I dont think there is a massive connection, i just feel like the aspie community has been let down because we are prone to iscolation etc.



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22 Mar 2017, 7:55 am

I've actually never had a weight problem but that's just me I guess.



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22 Mar 2017, 10:53 am

green0star wrote:
I've actually never had a weight problem but that's just me I guess.

Me too. I've always been healthy weight. I never have to even think about it, I just naturally seem to eat enough while also not eating too much.



laurasd
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22 Mar 2017, 12:36 pm

I think that my connection is because i also have epilepsy, which is common in people with asd. So my connection is asd-epilepsy (have to take meds for that which make you gain weight)-obesity



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22 Mar 2017, 4:02 pm

laurasd wrote:
I think that my connection is because i also have epilepsy, which is common in people with asd. So my connection is asd-epilepsy (have to take meds for that which make you gain weight)-obesity


I also have epilepsy and also have a weight problem, even though my sister {who believes males cannot have ASD because they are male} believes there is no connection between obesity and having ASD.

I take three prescriptions to control my seizures.


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22 Mar 2017, 11:34 pm

I've struggled with my weight my entire life. I was put on Paxil and Risperidone in 1998 when I was diagnosed with Depression, Anxiety and Psychosis. At 5ft 7 I weigh 280 lbs.


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23 Mar 2017, 3:59 am

I think the reason can be that many autistic people eat SSRI. I know people (like myself) that have a normal weight but when we eating SSRI the weight just goes up, no matter what we are doing. The other reason can be that many doesn´t like to go outside in the daylight, too much noice, people and so on. So we are a bit passive in our bodies and not the ones who goes to the gym classes and that sort. I have been to gym but I was always leaving if there was too much people in there.


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FreakyZettairyouiki
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24 Mar 2017, 3:47 pm

Keigan wrote:
From a DNA perspective there have been no studies that would identify obesity being a component of ASD. Plenty of studies on obesity alone.

My thoughts exactly. Like autism is so variable. I've never seen a trend of autistics being a certain weight. I've seen many people vary in weight. I know when I was younger I was really chubby but that was due to lifestyle if anything because once I turned 12, I started losing a crapload of weight and eating healthier. Now it's the complete opposite. My family thinks I'm anorexic because I constantly get thinner, even though it's just because I'm making a more conscious effort at my age to maintain my weight. Maybe it's also the Adderall having an effect? On the other hand, my younger sister who's not on the spectrum, but has ADD, is worried about here weight too. My mom was even concerned about her BMI at one point. I do know that when I was younger, my mom told the neighbors that I never went outside, because they were familiar with my siblings but didn't know I existed. I think it's not inherent with ASD, but just depends on your lifestyle, which may be impacted by your social issues, I guess.


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