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Obesity in Parents May Slow Down Child Development

Update Date: Jan 25, 2017 08:00 AM EST

Recent studies reveal that children of obese parents are more at risk for autism and neurodevelopmental disorders. The initial study saw relevance between a mother's weight during pregnancy and slow development among children. New research, however, revealed that the father's weight can also play a role in these developmental delays in children.

According to a report from Huffington Post, 20 percent of women undergoing pregnancy are obese. This fact is a growing health concern since such condition is being linked to autism, psychiatric disorders and neurodevelopmental problems in children. Now, having obese parents are also contributing to these developmental delays such as motor skills, personal interaction and social development in children.

The National Institute of Health analyzed data from 5,000 mothers wherein the developmental progress of their 4-month-old children were observed and recorded at regular intervals. The sessions utilized the Ages and Stages Questionnaire to identify any potential developmental problems in children with obese parents up until the children reached 3-years old. Prior to the tests, the parents' health, weigh, body index and lifestyle were also collected to identify any correlation with their offspring's socio-developmental progress.

Related reports from The Sun UK also revealed that kids with overweight mothers are clumsier while those born to overweight fathers displayed poor social skills. For both obese parents, a low intelligence in the child is observed.

Derived from a pool of 5,000 individuals from the New York State, 70 parents of children from obese mothers failed in motor skills test at age three. Seventy-five percent of kids from obese fathers meanwhile, failed the personal-social examination. Meanwhile, the percentage of children who failed to pass the problem-solving test tripled from two obese parents.

The number of slow learning offspring and developmental issues amongst children will continue to increase, as the number of parents overweight increase in the Americas and nearby countries.

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