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Autism. Overweight, Obesity, Artificial Sweeteners, Strokes and Dementia

Children with autism are more likely to be overweight or obese compared to neurotypical children (Sarabeth Broder-Fingert, Karisa Brasauskas, Kristen Lindgren, Dorothea Iannuzzi, Jeanne Van Cleave, "Prevalence of Overweight and Obesity in a Large Clinical Sample of Children with Autism," Academic Pediatrics 14, no. 4 (July-august 2014): 408-414, doi:10.1016/j.acap.2014.04.004). When individuals are overweight or obese, they may start to consume artificially sweetened drinks. However, a recent study showed that consuming such drinks is associated with an increased risk of dementia and stroke, (Matthew P. Pace, Jayandra J. Himali, Alexa S. Beiser, Hugo J. Aparicio, Claudia L. Satizabal, Ramachandran, S. Vasan, Sudha Seshadri et al., "Sugar- and Artifically Sweetened Beverages and the Risks of Incident Stroke and Dementia A prospective Cohort Study," Stroke 48, No. 6 (June 2017): doi:10.1161/STROKEAHA.116.016027). The study involved 2,888 participants. Even though the individuals are not children, children who are overweight or obese often continue to be so in adulthood. Having at least one can a day was associated with an increased the risk of all-cause dementia up to almost two and a half times as much and the associated risk of stroke and Alzheimer's dementia was almost up to three times as high. Although is not possible at this time without further study to definitively establish causation, it still is a good idea to cut back on these drinks.