Obesity during pregnancy can cause autism

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Researchers at the UC Davis Mind Institute found that obese mothers were 67% more likely to have a child with autism as opposed to normal-weight mothers without diabetes or hypertension.

Investigators found that the up and down sugar levels in the mother’s body, caused by obesity or diabetes can affect brain development in unborn children.

We spoke with Michelle Smyth of the Quad Cities Autism Center who says, though this research is still very new, any research is a good thing.

“I’m just pleased that there are groups out there that are looking into why we have this epidemic on our hands.  Why are we looking at 1 in 88 children being diagnosed with autism?  Research is a good thing,” she says.

Michelle has a daughter with autism and says she will use research like this to best educate her child for the future.

“I will be able to sit her down and say because you are genetically predisposed to having a child with autism, let’s look at these things that have been researched so that we can make good cautious decisions moving forward.”

Researchers for the study 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.  Those who are pregnant with have diabetes should see their doctors regularly to make sure their sugar levels are normal.