Does severity of intellectual disability affect the nutritional status of intellectually disabled children and adolescents?


ŞAHİN H., NOĞAY N. H.

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES, 2021 (SSCI) identifier identifier

Abstract

Background: Balanced and adequate nutrition is important to improve the quality of life of children with intellectual disability but most of these children are negatively affected by nutritional problems. Objective: This study was conducted to determine the nutritional status and effect of the severity of intellectual disability on nutritional status of children and adolescents with intellectual disabilities. Methods: One hundred twenty-two intellectually disabled children aged 4-18 years from five different special education and rehabilitation centers were included in the study. Their socio-demographic characteristics, body weight, height, body mass index (BMI), mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC), and skinfold thickness were examined, and their three-day food consumption record was taken. Results: Anthropometric scores did not differ significantly according to the severity of intellectual disability. According to evaluations made based on the World Health Organization's 2007 percentile curves, 61.4% of the subjects with mild intellectual disability (MID), 57.1% of those with moderate intellectual disability (MOID), and 53.3% of those with severe intellectual disability (SID) were within the normal BMI range for their age. Conclusion: Rates of malnutrition and shortness in children and adolescents with SID were found to be higher than among children with MID and MOID, though the differences were not statistically significant.