A mother’s obesity in pregnancy can affect her child’s development years down the road, according to researchers who found impaired motor skills in preschoolers and lower IQ in middle childhood for boys whose mothers were severely overweight while expecting them.

A team of nutrition and environmental health researchers at The University of Texas at Austin and Columbia University found that the differences are comparable to the impact of lead exposure in early childhood.

The team studied 368 mothers and their children, all from similar economic circumstances and neighborhoods, during pregnancy and when the children were 3 and 7 years of age.



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