A comparison of food avoidant behaviours and sensory sensitivity in adults with and without Tourette syndrome
Food selectivity has been shown to be more persistent and severe in children with Tourette syndrome (TS) compared to their typically developing peers. The current study aimed to examine differences in food selectivity, food neophobia and avoidant restrictive intake disorder associated behaviours, between adults with and without TS. Fifty-three adults diagnosed with TS were compared to 53 neurotypical adults and completed the following measures online: Adult Eating Behaviour Questionnaire (AEBQ), Nine-Item Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake disorder screen (NIAS), Food Neophobia Scale (FNS) and the Sensory Perception Quotient (SPQ). Higher levels of food avoidant behaviours, in terms of food fussiness, food neophobia and Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID)-associated behaviours, were identified in adults with TS compared to adults without TS. While heightened sensory sensitivity failed to predict selective eating, greater sensitivity to taste was found to be predictive of food neophobia in TS. These are the first findings to suggest that food avoidant behaviours are more prevalent for adults with TS and signal a need to address health implications.