Autism prevalence and meat consumption -a hypothesis that needs to be tested

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URL: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25169037/
Journal: Medical Hypotheses
Publication Date: 10/2014
Summary: Prevalence of ASD seems to have increase in recent decades. There have been many attempts to find the responsible agent at various levels, from genetics to environmental factors. In this paper we draw attention to the possibility that one of the hidden agents spurring the rise in autism prevalence is to be identified within the industrial system of food production, particularly meat production with special emphasis on poultry meat. The paper presents some exploratory analyses demonstrating the correlation between particular aspects of meat consumption and autism prevalence. This initial exploration has lead to the hypothesis that industrial meat production – especially of poultry meat – may involve significant risk factors requiring thorough investigation. The main suspects seem to be hormonal and other growth-promoting agents.

Key Takeaways

This paper looks at trends in meat consumption compared to increased prevalence of autism. Not only is autism correlated with increased industrialized food products, but also with increased consumption of poultry. Interestingly red meat consumption has also declined during the time that autism prevalence has increased

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