Return to MCH Journal Club page


The purpose of the MCH Journal Club is to promote active collaborative learning among MCH Nutrition Professionals so that they can gain and apply knowledge and share experiences about emerging nutritional topics using an informal yet professional setting and ultimately to disseminate the knowledge gained here back to the MCH population in their area.  By the participating in the MCH Partners Journal Club, the participants will be able to connect with their peers to discuss topics of interest and create stronger community ties while gaining continuing education credits.

Some current statistics from the CDC:

  • Of 4 million children are born in the United States every year, approximately 36,500 children will eventually be diagnosed with an ASD.  Assuming the prevalence rate has been constant over the past two decades, we can estimate that about 730,000 individuals between the ages of 0 to 21 have an ASD. [Home Page for ASD at CDC]
  • About 40% of children with an ASD do not talk at all. Another 25%–30% of children with autism have some words at 12 to 18 months of age and then lose them.  Others may speak, but not until later in childhood. [data and statistics at CDC]
  • Children with chronic illness, such as cancer, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and neurodevelopmental disorders such as ASD, are treated with CAM therapies at even higher rates. Up to 50 to 75% of children with autism may be treated with CAM. [Levey and Hyman (2008)
  • Recent studies have estimated that the lifetime cost to care for an individual with an ASD is $3.2 million. [data and statistics at CDC]

The research into the causes and treatments for ASD is ongoing; there are many challenges associated with trying to research a disorder such as ASD.  One problem with research of this kind is the definition of a proper control group.  Some studies have chosen children who are typically developing from the same communities as the children who are diagnosed with ASD, but if the control children are not screened prior to participation there may be some in the controls who actually have ASD.  There are a broad range of symptoms that make up ASD and this should be factored into the study design by categorizing case subjects according to type or severity of symptoms.   The challenges faced by researchers in this field should be kept in mind as you read the articles being presented here in the Journal Club sessions and as you discuss the results on the forum boards. 

Abbreviations used:
ASD: Autism Spectrum Disorder 
ADOS : Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule
 CAM: Complementary and Alternative Medicine 
NCCAM: National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine

For Topic 1. Autism Spectrum Disorder there are three Journal Club Sessions.  Each session is worth one continuing education unit (CEU)  from CDR. After completion of any of the sessions by registering for the Journal Club, reading the assigned articles and posting to the forum board you will receive a certificate of participation, one CEU per session.  To request details on how to obtain CEUs, click here to email us.

SessionsTopicsDates of Participation
Session AEfficacy of Nutrition Based TreatmentsSeptember 1-30, 2010
Session BNutritional Status of Children with ASDOctober 1-30, 2010
Session CIssues Faced by FamiliesNovember 1-30, 2010

Once you have logged on you may access the complete journal article texts and download them from there. They are listed by date of publication.
Interested in reading more about nutrition and ASDs? Our nutrition and autism public database has links to journal articles, state resources and much more.

If you have any questions or problems, you may contact the Journal Club Administrator via email at

Watch CNN News Live Watch Fox News Live MSNBC News Live Qatar FIFA World Cup 2022