Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Overweight Mothers Run Greater Risk Of Having Hyperactive Children

Date:
November 1, 2007
Source:
Uppsala University
Summary:
If a woman is overweight when she becomes pregnant, the probability is much greater that her child will evince ADHD-like symptoms when he/she reaches school age, according to a new Nordic study. Expectant mothers who were already overweight and moreover gained a considerable amount of weight during the course of the pregnancy ran a greater risk of having a child who would later show signs of ADHD than did women of normal weight who experienced the same weight gain during pregnancy.

If a woman is overweight when she becomes pregnant, the probability is much greater that her child will evince ADHD-like symptoms when he/she reaches school age, according to a new Nordic study. The investigation was carried out by Alina Rodriguez at Uppsala University in collaboration with international colleagues.

The study, comprising more than 12,500 children in Sweden, Finland, and Denmark, shows for the first time that there is a correlation between the mothers body mass index (BMI, weight in relation to height) at the time she becomes pregnant and symptoms like hyperactivity and concentration problems in the child.

“Many children are being diagnosed with ADHD and at the same time there is an epidemic of obesity in the world, with more and more women already overweight at the time they become pregnant. If it turns out that the mother’s weight is of significance and, together with other factors, can influence ADHD-like symptoms in the child, we have not only found a contributory cause but also a potential avenue for preventive work that can enhance the well-being of both mother and child,” says Alina Rodriguez at the Department of Psychology, Uppsala University, who is the lead author of the article.

The children were monitored from their time in the womb up to school age, when their teachers were asked to answer a questionnaire about the child’s behavior. Roughly one out of ten children had marked difficulties with their attention span and with hyperactivity.

“How many of them actually have ADHD cannot be determined solely on the basis of the questionnaire responses, however,” explains Alina Rodriguez.

The correlation between mothers’ body mass index and child symptoms was found not only in those cases where the mother suffered from pronounced obesity but also in cases where the women were moderately overweight. Expectant mothers who were already overweight and moreover gained a considerable amount of weight during the course of the pregnancy ran a greater risk of having a child who would later show signs of ADHD than did women of normal weight who experienced the same weight gain during pregnancy.

The next step for these scientists is to study whether there is a causal connection between the mothers’ obesity and symptoms in the child and, if so, what this is due to. One plausible explanation is that the risk of complications during pregnancy is greater among overweight women. The fetus can also be affected by stress hormones from the mother, or by hormones or environmental toxins that are stored in the mother’s fatty tissue. It is also possible that both the mother’s obesity and the child’s symptoms are the result of genetic factors.

“It is important that women start off pregnancy at an optimal body weight. It has been well documented in recent years that mothers overweight is associated with increase risk for a number of complications both to herself and to her child. Our results could be yet another problem to add to the list. But it is not good to be extremely thin either,” says Alina Rodriguez.

The research article is available online in the International Journal of Obesity.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Uppsala University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Uppsala University. "Overweight Mothers Run Greater Risk Of Having Hyperactive Children." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 November 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071101092754.htm>.
Uppsala University. (2007, November 1). Overweight Mothers Run Greater Risk Of Having Hyperactive Children. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071101092754.htm
Uppsala University. "Overweight Mothers Run Greater Risk Of Having Hyperactive Children." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071101092754.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Reuters - US Online Video (July 28, 2014) Two American aid workers in Liberia test positive for Ebola while working to combat the deadliest outbreak of the virus ever. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins