Role of maternal adiposity prior to and during pregnancy in cognitive and psychiatric problems in offspring
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The purpose of this review is to summarize studies that have examined associations between maternal adiposity prior to and during pregnancy and cognitive and psychiatric problems in offspring. Of the 11 studies published since a 2011 systematic review, four examined cognitive outcomes alone, four assessed psychopathology exclusively, and three reported on both cognitive and psychiatric endpoints. Ten studies provided evidence of a link. These data suggest that the offspring of women who are overweight or obese during pregnancy are at increased risk for cognitive deficits, externalizing problems (particularly attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder), and internalizing psychopathology in childhood and adolescence; however, the effect sizes were small to medium and a definitive causal association remains to be proven.
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