A new research is suggesting that if a child is born from an obese mother, there is a chance that it is likely to have significantly lower cognitive functions compared to a child from a mother of a healthy weight. Based on observational study which looked at a sample size of 3,412 participants, the researchers found a strong link between pre-pregnancy obesity and math and ready test scores of children.
Researchers saw a three point drop in reading scores and a two point reduction in math scores around a 3 percent difference. Pamela Salsberry, one of the researchers from Ohio State University, explains to Medical Express:
"[T]hese findings suggest that children born to women who are obese before pregnancy might need extra support. It's not only for their child's sake. It's also important for the health of the mother. But it is important to understand that maternal obesity during pregnancy could have implications for their children as well."
The results are controlled for other variables including socioeconomics status, parental levels of education and home environment, etc. Which means, its possible to say that the effect is tied to the weight of the mother. Researchers are still finding out why maternal obesity would impair cognitive function, and they speculate that the brain development in the womb must be sensitive to a mother's physiological characteristics. [Maternal and Child Health Journal via Medical Express]