A new study out this week finds that if a woman is obese or has diabetes, the likelihood of her having a child with a neurodevelopmental disorder such as autism, is greater than in women who do not have these conditions.
Researchers with the UC-Davis Mind Institute found mothers who were obese were 67% more likely to have a child with autism as opposed to normal-weight mothers without diabetes or hypertension.
And overweight moms were more than twice as likely to have a child with another type of developmental disorder as women who were not overweight.
The study looked at just over a thousand mother and child pairs. The children were between the ages of 2 to 5 years old.
Investigators believe the up and down sugar levels in the mother's body, caused by obesity or diabetes can affect brain development in unborn children. They say this is not to frighten overweight women who are pregnant, but they do suggest women watch their weight before and while they are pregnant and those who are pregnant– and have diabetes– should see their doctors regularly to make sure their sugar levels are normal.