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Obesity And Autism May Be Linked: Mother's Weight Increases Risk Of Obesity
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Obesity And Autism May Be Linked: Mother\'s Weight Increases Risk Of Obesity

Paula Krakowiak a biostatistician and doctoral candidate at the University of California, Davis has led a study that links obesity in mothers to a higher risk of either autism or developmental delays in her children. The study, published in the journal, Pediatrics, showed how a mother's weight could dramatically increase her children's risk of a number of conditions. Other studies have linked diabetic mothers with an increased risk of babies with developmental delays however there was no link established between the condition and autism.

The study used more than five hundred children ages two to five years old, all previously diagnosed with mild to severe autism. More than a hundred children were diagnosed with other types of developmental delays and three hundred were described as developing on schedule. All were already taking part in the study called Childhood Autism Risks fro Genetics and Environments which started in 2003 and lasted for seven years. The children were all assessed for autism confirmation by members of the MIND Institute. Information about maternal weight was retrieved either by discussing weight with the mothers themselves or by medical charts.

According to the study, women who were severely overweight or obese had a nearly seventy percent higher risk of having an autistic child. Her risk of having a child with developmental delays was more than twice as high as that of an average weight woman. In addition, maternal weight may increase the risk of the child's obesity, heart disease and other conditions before he is even born.

By the estimates of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in 88 children in the United States has some level of autism spectrum disorder which can include much higher functioning types of the condition such as Asperger's Syndrome. One in six children have developmental delays including delays with speech development, socialization problems and other problems. One third of the women in the US that are child baring age are obese. Nine percent of those women are also diabetic according to the CDC.

There has been a dramatic increase in the number of children who are being labeled as autistic, causing some to wonder if there is really an increase in the number of cases being recognized because of better detection or if a change in some of the diagnosing criteria has falsely created a near epidemic, saddling some children with a label that they may not fully need to have placed on them.


Street Talk

great points to ponder. thanks for sharing.

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  about 1 decade ago
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