Co-occurrence of Food Sensitivities and Psychological Disorders in Australian Children.

  • K. J. Burke

Abstract

This paper presents findings from a larger study of the psychosocial implications of living with a chronic food sensitivity. Participants were targeted through membership of food related illness support groups, and parent reports were gathered for 1316 Australian children aged 0-18 (M= 7.3 years). Almost half (46%,n=¬594) were reported to have a food sensitivity (food allergy or food intolerance), with 80% (n=450) having received a professional medical diagnosis. A significantly higher proportion of those children also had a diagnosed psychological condition compared to the children without food sensitivities, and at rates much higher than Australian prevalence data. This indicates that a child with a food sensitivity is more likely to also have significant psychological needs. Children with a medically diagnosed food sensitivity were 4 times more likely to have Asperger Syndrome, 4 times more likely to have Dyslexia, 3 times more likely to have Depression or Anxiety, and 4 times more likely to have ADHD. Acknowledgement of the potential complexity of these conditions will promote more effective management of the psychosocial health of these children and their families.
Published
2014-12-01
Section
Poster presentations