Diabetic Women and those suffering from Obesity Severely Risk their Health

When it comes to giving birth, a mother’s main priority is making sure that her baby is healthy. Having a child that is born with Autism is said to be a factor of how healthy the mother is herself, both before and during pregnancy. Studies have shown that overweight women, as well as women that live with diabetes, have an increased chance of giving birth to a child on the Autism spectrum, especially combining the factors.

While being either overweight or being diabetic only poses a slight risk of giving birth to a child with Autism, being an overweight women with diabetes greatly increases the possibility. The same study also concludes that obese women who were diagnosed with diabetes during their pregnancy are three times more likely to have offspring with Autism. This is called gestational diabetes.

A study by John Hopkins University in their Center on Early Life Origins of Disease followed 2,700 births between 1998 and 2014 at the Boston Medical Center.

“The finding is not a total surprise,” said Dr. Xiaobin Wang, the director of the center. “Many studies have shown that maternal obesity and diabetes have an adverse impact on developing fetuses and their long-term metabolic health.”

Statistics show that 1 in 68 children in the United States are diagnosed with Autism, which sits parallel with the statistics of obesity and diabetes in women of reproductive age. One-third of women in their early thirties are obese, and ten percent are diabetic in America.

Andrea Roberts is a research associate at Harvard School of Public Health, and she weighs in about whether or not mothers are solely responsible for their children having Autism based on their health.

Roberts said, “In terms of casting blame, I would say that when you see a massive increase of obesity over the past 30 years, it’s hard to say it’s an individual’s fault or problem. This is a societal issue.”

Dr. Wang and her team are still continuing the study to find out definitively about the effects of maternal obesity and diabetes resulting in a child on the Autism spectrum.

For more information, visit Philly Voice and US Newspregnancy_hero.

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