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Obesity During Pregnancy Linked To Autism

Mon, April 9, 2012 4:48pm EDT by 3 Comments
Obesity Autism Link

Diet and exercise during pregnancy is more important than ever — a new study links autism and other developmental delays in children to obesity and diabetes in pregnant moms!

Women who have diabetes, hypertension or are obese during pregnancy can be at risk of children with developmental disabilities, a new study finds. 67 percent of obese women are more likely to have autistic children than those at a normal weight, according to CBS News. Children born to obese women are also at double the risk to have other developmental delays, says the new study published in the April 9 issue of Pediatrics

There is no cause or effect, the study researchers say, so further research must be done to confirm the results. If a women is about 35 pounds overweight, that could be linked to inflammation and sometimes elevated levels of blood sugar, authors theorize about obesity. Those health problems can cause an expecting mother’s blood to reach the fetus and damage the infant’s developing brain, says study author Paula Krakowiak, an epidemiologist at the University of California.

On average, women face a 1 in 88 chance of having a child with autism, according to recent Center for Disease Control and Prevention statistics. It suggests that obesity during pregnancy can increase to a 1 in 53 chance, the authors say.

The study focused on obesity in pregnant women, but information on their diets and other habits during pregnancy that might have influenced fetal development is currently unknown.

So, HollyMoms, watch your weight for your baby’s health!

–Giovanna Pagliarulo

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