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Obese Parents May Cause Developmental Delay In Children

By Christie Abagon , Jan 03, 2017 09:56 PM EST
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Obese parents may hamper their child's development according to a new study. The research was conducted by scientists at the NIH's Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).

Kids Of Extremely Obese Parents Are More Likely To Fail In Problem Solving Tests

The study, which was published in Pediatrics, show that children of obese moms are more likely to fail fine motor skill skills, while obese dads are more likely to cause their children to fail measures of social competence. Extremely, obese couples' children are more likely to fail tests of problem-solving ability, Fox2Now reported.

Edwina Yeung, Ph.D., an investigator in NICHD's Division of Intramural Population Health Research and lead author of the study, said that previous studies in the US focused on maternal pre- and post-pregnancy weight, but this study "includes information about fathers" and their results show that a father's weight influences a child's development significantly.

Doctors May Indicate That A Child's Developmental Delay Could Be Caused By Obese Parents

Yeung also said that if their findings are confirmed in other studies, for kids who have an increased risk for developmental delays, parental obesity may be considered by physicians. The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health and supported by the Intramural Research Program of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, MedPage Today said. This research has lesser information on paternal obesity risks on child development, but the authors said previous study hypothesizing that obesity could affect the expression of genes in sperm.

Although the effects of obesity in male sperm were not thoroughly explained, developmental psychology expert says it is not impossible. "It's not a crazy idea." Scott Johnson, a professor in developmental psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles, said. "It has been speculated for some time that there may be distinct paternal genetic contributions to autism risk, for example."

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