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.
Anneli Waara | alfa
The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung
A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections
11.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
20.01.2017 | Awards Funding
20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.01.2017 | Life Sciences