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HHS HealthBeat (September 5, 2012)

Weighing down kids’ thinking

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Planning for Pregnancy

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

A study indicates women who are obese when they become pregnant may have children whose thinking ability is a bit lower than it should be. At Ohio State, Rika Tanda saw it in data on about 3,400 children.

Children of obese mothers had reading and math test scores two or three points lower than other kids, at ages 5 and 7. Tanda says the difference may be important for some children, in cases such as tests, when a small variation matters. So she says:

“We recommend all young women maintain healthy weight in childbearing age because their metabolic health may have a significant effect on their future children’s cognitive functions.”

The study in the journal Social Science and Medicine was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: September 10, 2012