July 8, 2020

Early life risk factors for obesity in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are five times more likely to have mealtime challenges and be picky eaters and they carry a more than 40% greater risk of developing obesity than typically developing children. In this webinar, the speaker will provide an overview of select early life risk factors which may be implicated in nutritional challenges and adverse weight-related outcomes in children with ASD. Specific attention will be devoted to the prenatal period and early infancy as well as to familial factors and behavioral eating phenotypes which may be implicated in the increased obesity risk in this especially vulnerable population of children.The seminar will conclude with opportunities for addressing feeding- and weight-related concerns in children with ASD and implications for future research


Tanja Kral, PhD is an Associate Professor of Nutrition Science at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and Perelman School of Medicine. A nutrition scientist with training in the study of human ingestive behavior, Dr. Kral’s research focuses on cognitive, sensory and nutritional controls of appetite and eating in children and adults and their relevance to obesity. She earned her MS and PhD from The Pennsylvania State University and is the author of numerous peer-reviewed journal articles focusing on topics such as behavioral phenotypes for childhood obesity, early life influences on child weight outcomes, and the relationship between food insecurity, child weight status, and parent-reported child eating and snacking behaviors. She is the Principal Investigator on several NIH grants, both active and completed, and is the recipient of multiple professional awards including, most recently, the Alan Epstein Research Award from the Society of Ingestive Behavior and the Ruth Pike Lecture Series Award from the Department of Nutritional Sciences of The Pennsylvania State University. 

Click here to register for this FREE webinar! 


Webinar Details 

Date:               Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Time:               12:00PM - 1:00PM EST

CE Credit:       1.0 contact hour, 1.0 CPEU


Upon completing this activity, the learner will be able to:


1.     Describe pregnancy-related risk factors for childhood obesity in children with ASD.

2.     Highlight possible dietary and early life risk factors that may be underlying the increased obesity risk in children with ASD.

3.     Address feeding and weight-related concerns in children with ASD and directions for future research.


CE Credit Details:

The planners of this program have no disclosures to report

Dr. Kral has disclosed a relationship with a commercial interest unrelated to this educational activity.  This educational activity was reviewed and approved by the Nurse Planner for balance in the presentation, evidence-based content or other indicator of integrity, and absence of bias was confirmed.

To receive a CE certificate, you must individually register online for the webinar, attend the full program and complete an online evaluation.

Villanova University M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center Commission on Accreditation.

Villanova University M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing MacDonald Center for Obesity Prevention and Education is a Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Accredited Provider with the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). CDR Credentialed Practitioners will receive 1 Continuing Professional Education unit (CPEU) for completion of this activity.




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