Washington D.C. [USA], Nov 25 (ANI): Women beware! Being overweight or obese before getting pregnant can increase the risk of developing autism or behavioural problems in newborns, a recent study warns.
Senior author Dr. Bernard Fuemmeler from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia said that prenatal exposure to environmental toxins, stress and nutrition have all been linked to neurodevelopmental outcomes in children.
They reviewed 1,483 participants on pregnancy weight and neurodevelopmental delays.
Being obese during pregnancy also increases the risk of gestational diabetes that has been linked to lower cognitive test scores and behavioral problems and premature births.
Researchers from Duke University Medical Center reviewed all the studies looked at a mother's pregnancy weight and neurodevelopment problems in their child.
Fuemmeler noted that the results show that children born to mothers who are overweight or obese are at a higher risk of neurodevelopmental problems, including ADHD, ASD, greater emotional/behavioural problems and cognitive delay.
They also found that that the children, who were born to normal weight mothers during their pregnancy, the risk for any adverse neurodevelopmental outcome was 17 percent higher among children to mothers who were overweight prior to their pregnancy.
The research appears in the journal Obesity Reviews. (ANI)