Kids of severely obese moms have higher risk of ADHD

Six-year-olds whose mothers were severely obese before pregnancy are more likely to have developmental or emotional problems than kids of healthy-weight moms, according to a new study.

The researchers had found evidence of this link in two previous studies, said lead author Heejoo Jo of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia.

Jo and her coauthors studied data on 1,311 mother-child pairs collected between 2005 and 2012, including the mothers’ body mass index (BMI, a height-to-weight ratio) before pregnancy and their reports of the children’s psychosocial difficulties at age six.

The researchers also incorporated the children’s developmental diagnoses and receipt of special needs services.

Kids of moms who were severely obese, with a BMI greater than 35, were twice as likely to have emotional symptoms, problems with peers and total psychosocial difficulties compared to kids of moms who had a healthy BMI, between 18.5 and 25.

They were three times as likely to have a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder and more than four time as likely to have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), as reported in Pediatrics.

Women should receive comprehensive care and discuss all health and medical issues with their doctors before becoming pregnant, and that includes weight status, Jo said.

“Pre-gestational weight loss is recommended for severely obese women,” Friedman said. The healthier a woman can be entering pregnancy, the better, he said.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children be screened for developmental delay or disability at nine, 18 and 24 or 30 months of age, and women who were severely obese before pregnancy should be especially committed to getting those screens done, she said.

Know more @ www.reuters.com

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