Parental obesity linked to young children’s neurodevelopmental delays

Posted on January 4, 2017

Photo: flickr


According to a study by the researchers at National Institutes of Health, children of obese parents may be at risk for developmental delays. Investigators found that children of obese mothers were more likely to fail in fine motor skill test – ability to control movement of small muscles, such as those in the fingers and hands. Children of obese fathers were more likely to fail measures of social competence, and those with extremely obese parents also were more likely to fail tests of problem solving ability.

In the study, children were tested at 4 months of age and retested six more times through the age of 3. Their mothers did provide information on their health and weight – before and after pregnancy – and weight of their partners upon enrolling.

In comparison to children of normal weight mothers, children of obese mothers were nearly 70% more likely to fail the test indicator on fine motor skill by age 3. Children of obese fathers were 75% more likely to fail the test’s personal-social domain- indicator of how well they were able to relate and interact with others by age 3. Children with two obese parents were nearly three times more likely to fail the test’s problem solving section by age 3.

If the link between parental obesity and developmental delays is confirmed, physicians may need to take parental weight into account when screening young children for delays and early interventional services.

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Category(s):Child Development

Source material from Sharp Brains


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