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An investigation of the diet, exercise, sleep, BMI, and health outcomes of autistic adults
Autistic individuals may be more likely to develop a variety of physical and mental health conditions, including Type II diabetes, certain cancers, respiratory conditions, and cardiovascular conditions [3,4,5,6,7], with relatively greater risk for autistic females compared to autistic males [3, 4, 7]; and these conditions may contribute to increased risk of premature mortality seen among autistic individuals [8, 9]. Estimates of risk of premature mortality are alarming, suggesting that autistic individuals die 16–38.5 years younger on a average than expected [8, 9], with greatest risk among autistic females and those with intellectual disability (ID) 
Overall, despite lower prevalence of smoking and alcohol use, autistic adults are less likely to meet minimal health recommendations for diet, exercise, and sleep than are non-autistic adults, and this may be particularly true for autistic females (compared to sex-matched peers). In particular, our findings provide correlational evidence that unhealthy habits may appreciably relate to excess risk of cardiovascular conditions seen among autistic males (though we cannot test causality). Autistic adults are also more likely to be classified as underweight or obese and less likely to be classified as within the normal weight range regarding BMI; interestingly, atypical BMI is not fully explained by diet, exercise, or sleep patterns. It should be noted that these results may not apply to all autistic individuals and may primarily apply to white, female, UK residents, and those who have completed at least a high school education. However, the present study emphasizes the urgency of developing strategies to better support autistic individuals in making healthy lifestyle choices.
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