Tags: obese | pregnant | academics

Kids of Obese Moms do Poorer in School

Thursday, 10 May 2012 11:40 AM

Children born to women who were obese before getting pregnant tend to suffer more academically - as measured by math and reading tests in elementary school - than those whose mothers had a healthy pre-pregnancy weight, new research suggests.
The study, conducted by Ohio State University researchers, follows previous research that has found a woman's pre-pregnancy obesity can have a negative effect on fetal organs, such as the heart, liver and pancreas.
But the new study, published in the Maternal and Child Health Journal, suggests a mother's obesity also could affect the fetal brain.
For the study, investigators examined information from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth Mother and Child Survey. They collected data on 3,412 children born to mothers who participated in the survey -- half of whom had normal weight before pregnancy, and 9.6 percent were obese.
The researchers then gauged the children's cognitive abilities – at ages 5 and 7 -- based on their performance on Peabody Individual Achievement Test reading recognition and math assessments.
The analysis showed kids whose mothers were obese before pregnancy scored lower on math and reading tests than children of normal-weight moms.
Lead researcher Rika Tanda said clinicians could use the study’s findings to help encourage women patients of childbearing age to maintain a healthy weight, especially if they plan to get pregnant.
"This is a large population study, so at the individual level we can't say that one person's decision to change her weight will change her child's outcome," she said. "But these findings suggest that children born to women who are obese before pregnancy might need extra support."

© HealthDay

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Children born to women who were obese before pregnancy suffer more academically.
Thursday, 10 May 2012 11:40 AM
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