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Summary of results from a study conducted by researchers at the University of Hertfordshire, exploring the eating and dietary behaviours in children with TS.

Posted on 21 March 2018 by Helen Robbins

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The study investigated food preferences and eating behaviours in children with TS. Thirty-two caregivers of children with TS and twenty-eight caregivers of children without TS completed a series of questionnaires online. The key findings are as follows:

  • Children with TS consume less, fruit, vegetables and dairy and have higher levels of food fussiness than children without TS.
  • Among children with TS, higher sensory sensitivity predicted greater fussiness and preference for fruit, starches and dairy.
  • Severity of tics influenced preference for meat/fish, snacks and vegetables.

This research is important as a lack of fruit and vegetables and increased food fussiness has a negative impact on children’s nutrition and overall wellbeing. It is also possible that sensory sensitivity and tic severity partially underlie food preferences and fussiness in children with TS, which provides focus for future research to understand how eating behaviours manifest and potential development of guidelines. Future research seeks to investigate relationships between weight and eating behaviours, along with comparing to an ASD sample.

You can download the poster on this page for a full summary of the results.

Bobbie Smith, MSc. School of Psychology and Sports Sciences, University of Hertfordshire.


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