Obese mothers, autism linked

Children born to obese mothers more likely to develop autism

Mothers who are obese during pregnancy are 70 percent more likely to have a child with autism than a mother of normal weight, a new study finds.

Researchers at UC Davis also discovered diabetic mothers were more than twice as likely to have a child with developmental disorders other than autism, according to The Sacramento Bee. The study—which involved more than 1,000 children from California—focused on mothers with obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure, and concluded obesity to be the strongest factor related to autism. The study’s authors noted nearly 60 percent of women of childbearing age are overweight, one-third are obese and 9 percent have diabetes.

“Nobody has looked at obesity in relation to autism-spectrum disorders that I’m aware of,” said UC Davis researcher Irva Hertz-Picciotto. “Currently we really know very little about the causes of autism.”