Study addresses food texture challenges in the life of children with Down syndrome


Kids with Down syndrome choose meals with a crispy, oily mouthfeel and do not like brittle or gooey meals. However these preferences can result in a much less nutritious weight loss program, in response to Washington State College analysis printed within the Journal of Texture Research.

Kids with Down syndrome actually take pleasure in meals like Pirate’s Booty and puffed corn. These meals aren’t of excessive dietary worth, however they’re dissolvable-;an enormous plus for these kids. Now the problem is making nutritious meals with these traits.”

Carolyn Ross, Professor in WSU’s Faculty of Meals Science

The paper examined what meals textures kids with Down syndrome preferred or did not like and the way these preferences in comparison with sometimes creating kids’s preferences.

Within the U.S., one in 772 infants (round 5,100 every year), are born with Down syndrome, a genetic situation attributable to a full or partial additional copy of chromosome 21. Feeding and swallowing impairments are widespread, and a key predictor of elevated dying amongst these people.

It has been recognized for years that kids with Down syndrome do not eat as a lot as sometimes creating kids, however no person has studied meals textures as an element. This analysis might assist clinicians and oldsters decide what meals will get eaten, whereas hopefully prompting meals producers to tailor merchandise to this inhabitants’s particular wants, Ross mentioned.

“This was an enormous space of lacking analysis,” Ross mentioned. “There are various anecdotal tales, and you’ll go down an internet rabbit gap to search out info. However research like this might help dad and mom and clinicians know what these kids can be more than likely to eat and assist cut back incidences of choking. If we are able to add dietary worth to these meals, then we’ll actually assist lots of people.”

Choking is among the main causes of dying amongst individuals with Down syndrome as a result of they might not chew meals sufficient or “pack” it, overfilling their mouths and cheeks with out swallowing.

Kids with Down syndrome have numerous well being points, greater than sometimes creating kids, together with feeding and swallowing challenges and meals texture sensitivities. Ross desires to assist kids with Down syndrome have extra wholesome consuming choices and turn into extra snug with complicated textures.

“We wish to assist individuals perceive what meals textures kids with Down syndrome choose, and methods to transfer them from issues like pureed meals to texturally complicated meals, which are likely to have extra dietary worth,” Ross mentioned.

Ross and her workforce despatched bins with 16 commercially obtainable sorts of meals to 218 kids aged 11 to 18 in 30 states. Of these bins, 111 went to kids with Down syndrome, the remaining to a management group of sometimes creating youth.

The bins contained 4 gadgets in every of 4 totally different texture teams to make sure that taste wasn’t the explanation for a texture choice. The analysis workforce requested dad and mom about disliked flavors earlier than the bins had been despatched, to keep away from these merchandise. All kids within the examine ate considered one of every merchandise day by day for per week to verify enjoyment wasn’t attributable to novelty.

The dad and mom then filmed the youngsters interacting with and consuming every merchandise, importing the movies to the analysis workforce.

“We coded loads of knowledge; it is the largest home-use check involving kids with Down syndrome that we have ever heard of,” Ross mentioned. “And it confirmed a giant distinction in texture choice between kids with and with out Down syndrome.”


Journal reference:

Ross, C.F., et al. (2022) Consuming behaviors in kids with Down syndrome: Outcomes of a home-use check. Journal of Texture Research.

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