Sensory Experiences and Eating Behaviors of Autistic Men

Currently Recruiting Participants

While it is currently understood that autistic women experience elevated sensory symptoms and consequential disordered eating behaviors, very little is known about how sensory reactivity may impact the eating behaviors of autistic men (Kinnaird, Norton, and Tchanturia, 2017; Westwood, Mandy, Simic and Tchanturia, 2018). Existing literature suggests that, compared to neurotypical peers, autistic men may consume a limited variety of foods, experience greater difficulty with eating patterns, and may exhibit greater eating disorder symptoms. These differences may be best explained by sensory symptoms, though further research is necessary to understand the nature of the relationship (Schmitt, Heiss, & Campbell, 2008; Barbier, 2015; Kinniard et al, 2019). 

Therefore, this study aims to (1) characterize the sensory experiences and eating behaviors of autistic men (2) describe the relationship between food and sensory sensitivity of autistic men and (3) determine how autistic men manage their sensory reactivity.

Individuals are eligible for study participation if they self-identify as autistic, were assigned a sex of male at birth, are age 18 or older, have no history of intellectual disability, and are not under a legal conservatorship or guardianship. Study participation involves a 30 minute survey and a 1.5 hour interview conducted via text chat, phone, or video call.