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Obesity and Diabetes During Pregnancy Can Lead To Babies with Autism, Experts Say

New Study about the possible link between obesity and autism
3 Feb 2016 – 10:03 AM EST

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¿Is there a link between obesity and autism? Crédito: Dreamstime

Autism is a big issue in America. More and more kids are diagnosed each day with this condition and despite the numerous efforts from doctors and scientists to find the cause, there is still no significant evidence of the origins of Autism.

This week a new research about Autism came to light and revealed that obese women with diabetes are four times more likely to give birth to a child with some autism disorder, in comparison to moms with healthier weights and moms without diabetes.

The study was published weeks ago in the Journal of Pediatrics, and it becomes one of the most revealing studies in recent years.

“We have long known that obesity and diabetes aren’t good for the mother's own health,” says Xiaobin Wang, one of the leader of the investigation at the Bloomberg School. “Now we have further evidence that these conditions also impact the long-term neural development of their children.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 1 every 68 children is born with a some type of autism disorder.

The study recruited almost 3,000 mothers and babies between 1998 and 2014 and concluded that the children with mothers both diabetic and obese were more than four times as likely to develop autism compared to children born to mothers with no diabetes and with a healthy weight.

“Our research highlights that the risk for autism begins in utero,” says co-author M. Daniele Fallin, chair of the Bloomberg School’s Department of Mental Health. “It’s important for us to now try to figure out what is it about the combination of obesity and diabetes that is potentially contributing to suboptimal fetal health.”

“In order to prevent autism, we may need to consider not only pregnancy, but also pre-pregnancy health,” Fallin also advised.