Dr Mark Brosnan It now seems that eating disorders are linked with autism among children. A recent study triggered by the University of Bath and Great Ormond Street Hospital asserts that kids with tendencies towards eating disorders are at a higher risk for autism. The study findings may provide a detailed understanding of both the conditions.

The study encompassed 61 boys and 71 girls aged 11 to 14 years. All the 132 school children were thoroughly examined for highlighting the apparent link between eating disorders and ASD. Scientists kept a tab on dieting behaviors and weight concerns that are assumed to be variable risk factors for the development of eating disorders. The participants were also made to fill in questionnaire-based assessments of eating disorders and ASD. As a result, a considerable relationship between the two conditions was registered. This link appeared particularly strong between eating disorder, attention to detail and communication skills.

Investigators noted that ‘attention to detail’ was consistently the most significant predictor of eating disorder tendencies. It was presumed that poorer social communication skills raised the association with higher eating disorder tendencies. Dr Mark Brosnan from the University of Bath’s Department of Psychology and colleagues anticipate that analyzing the relationship between these social cognitive processes and eating disorders can help in treating such patients.

The study will be published in the British Journal of Clinical Psychology.