Could we have finally found out the reason for the increase in the rise of autism? Or is it just another cover-up to mask the real reasons behind this raging epidemic?
In a recent study published in the journal Pediatrics, it was reported that metabolic conditions in pregnant women may be associated with increased risk for autism and other neuro-developmental disorders in their children.
Yet another thing we are doing to ourselves and to our children by continuing to eat out of control and to ignore our bulging waistlines. Please follow me to the CeCe’s pizza buffet.
The study included more than 1,000 children between the ages of 2 and 5. They looked at those who had mothers that were classified as having “metabolic conditions” during pregnancy (which included diabetes, hypertension, and obesity) and those that did not.
Those who had mothers classified as having “metabolic conditions” were at a significantly higher risk of developing an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and developmental delays.
Mothers who were obese were 1.6 times more likely to have a child with ASDs and more than twice as likely to have a child with other developmental problems. Maternal diabetes alone was associated with significant risk for overall developmental problems and lower expressive language skills in their children.
Now here’s the real scary part…
Nearly 60% of women of childbearing age (20-39) in the U.S. are overweight, one-third are obese, and 16% have metabolic syndrome. Combine those numbers with the stats above, and you’ve got the potential for a real public health crisis.
That’s not to say that all babies from overweight women will have health problems. But these numbers are staggering. And ASD is a tragic, life-long, and expensive disease. And now one more we can add to the growing list of health problems we may be eating ourselves into.
When are we going to do something about this situation? When are we going to stop ignoring the fact that it is not OK to be overweight or obese? When are we going to realize that this is a major public health crisis that needs to be addressed at every level?
The days of just hoping that people lose weight is over. We are at critical mass (pun intended). The days of waiting for people to make changes themselves are over. Doctors and scientists can’t agree on how to put an end to this epidemic…but it’s time we all meet at the table. Losing weight should be top priority for all patients who are overweight. It’s just not an option.