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Mother's Weight During Pregnancy Linked to ADHD in Child

Studies show that the greater a woman's BMI (Body Mass Index) before and during pregnancy, the greater the likelihood her child will develop ADHD-like symptoms by school-age.


A woman's weight before and during her pregnancy may enhance the chance of her child having attention deficit disorder (ADD ADHD). The study, conducted by Alina Rodriguez at Uppsala University in collaboration with international colleagues found that a greater a woman's BMI (Body Mass Index) before and during pregnancy, the greater the likelihood her child will develop ADHD-like symptoms by the time he is school age.

The study, which included more than 12,500 children in Sweden, Finland, and Denmark, monitored the children from the time they were in the womb up to the time they went to school. Teachers were then asked to fill out a questionnaire, rating the level of each child's behavior. About one in ten were marked as having difficulty paying attention or being hyperactive.

"How many of them actually have ADHD cannot be determined solely on the basis of the questionnaire responses, however," explains Rodriguez.

A possible explanation could be that more complications tend to arise during pregnancy when the mother is overweight. Stress hormones and environmental toxins stored in the fatty tissues may effect the development of the fetus. Another explanation for the obesity and/or the child experiencing ADHD symptoms could be the genetic makeup of both mother and child. The study will take further steps to determine whether or not this is a causal correlation.

Source: International Journal of Obesity, October 2007


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Source: Mother's Weight During Pregnancy Linked to ADHD in Child