Magazine article USA TODAY

Prepregnancy Obesity Hurts Child's Intelligence

Magazine article USA TODAY

Prepregnancy Obesity Hurts Child's Intelligence

Article excerpt

Women who are obese before they become pregnant are at higher risk of having children with lower cognitive function--as measured by math and reading tests taken between ages five to seven years--than are mothers with a healthy prepregnancy weight, suggests research at Ohio State University, Columbus.

Previous research has suggested that a woman's prepregnancy obesity can have a negative effect on fetal organs, such as the heart, liver, and pancreas. Because fetal development is rapid and sensitive to a mother's physiological characteristics, researchers sought to find out whether a mother's obesity also could affect the fetal brain. "One way you measure the effects on the brain is by measuring cognition," points out Rika Tanda, load author of the study and a doctoral candidate in nursing.

The research also supports findings from previous studies suggesting that several other conditions affect childhood cognition, including how stimulating the home environment is, family income, and a mother's education and cognitive skills. "The new piece here is we have a measure associated with the fetus' environment to add to that set of potential risk factors," explains Pamela Salsberry, senior author of the study and a professor of nursing. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.