Recent research links mothers obesity to poor mental, cognitive and overall weakness in boy child. According to the study suggests the effects of maternal obesity in infants are comparable to the impact of lead exposure in early childhood.
As part of the study, the researchers, including those from Columbia University in the US, studied 368 mothers and their children — both during pregnancy and when the children were 3 and 7 years of age. The families were from similar economic circumstances and neighborhoods, the study noted.
At age 3, the researchers measured the children’s motor skills and found that maternal obesity during pregnancy was strongly associated with lower motor skills in boys. The study was published in the journal BMC Pediatrics.
When they again measured the children at age 7, they found that the boys whose mothers were overweight or obese in pregnancy had scored 5 or more points lower on full-scale IQ tests, compared to boys whose mothers had been at a normal weight. According to the researchers, such an effect was not found in girls. Scientists are clueless on how mothers overweight adversely affects boy child but speculated that dietary and behavioral differences may be the driving factors, or fetal development may be affected by processes that happen in the bodies of people with a lot of extra weight.
Researchers advised expecting women to eat a well-balanced diet with necessary proteins found in lean meat and to supplement it with healthy fatty oils found in fish. Essential vitamins and minerals must be consumed with a daily intake of fruits and vegetables. Above all, a nurturing home environment was found to lessen the negative effects of obesity during the research.