Children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have been identified as one of the many pediatric subgroups who experience elevated prevalence of obesity, which constitutes a significant public health problem. Little is known about how race/ethnicity modifies this association. This secondary data analysis project will leverage three existing datasets to explore the intersectionality of race/ethnicity and disability status as they relate to childhood obesity.

We will pool data from the National Survey of Children’s Health (2016, 2017-18, 2019), the Adolescent Brain Cognition Development Study (baseline, year 1 follow-up, follow-up 2), and Simons Simplex Collection (sibling dyads where one child has ASD) to meet three goals. Goal 1 will characterize the extent that race/ethnicity moderates the impact of disability (ASD status) on the prevalence of child overweight/obesity, Goal 2 will characterize the extent that race/ethnicity moderates the mediating effects of obesity risk factors, such as physical activity, screen time, sleep pattern, and diet quality, and Goal 3 will assess whether the findings from Goals 1 and 2 persist in both males and females and in poorer and wealthier households.

At the completion of the project, we anticipate we will have a trilogy of manuscripts corresponding to each goal, with each manuscript informing the subsequent one.