Public Release: 

Weight before pregnancy linked with children's neurodevelopment

Wiley

A recent Obesity Reviews analysis of published studies found that, compared with children of normal weight mothers, children whose mothers were overweight or obese prior to pregnancy had 17% and 51% increased risks for compromised neurodevelopmental outcomes, respectively.

Pre-pregnancy obesity was linked with a 62% increased risk of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, a 36% increased risk of Autism Spectrum Disorder, a 58% increased risk of developmental delay, and a 42% increased risk of emotional/behavioral problems.

"Like avoiding smoking during pregnancy, this review of over 40 articles suggests that maintaining a healthy weight during pregnancy may also be important to a child's brain development," said senior author Dr. Bernard Fuemmeler, of the Virginia Commonwealth University.

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