Obese and diabetic pregnant women are more likely to have a child with ADHD


  • The estimated number of children aged 3 to 17 who have ever been diagnosed with ADHD is 6 million, according to data from 2016-2019.
  • One of the main risk factors for ADHD in children is maternal obesity.

Weight gain during pregnancy is normal but it must remain healthy to avoid mental disorders in unborn children: this is the conclusion ofa new study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Twice more

Indeed, the researchers found that children of women with gestational diabetes (which represents 40% of pregnant women studied) and obesity (30% of subjects) were twice as likely to suffer from mental disorders such as attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) than those born to non-obese mothers.

For their work, the researchers studied 1,036 children born to women with gestational diabetes. Thirteen percent of these children were diagnosed with ADHD.

normal range

The researchers found this association only in women with gestational diabetes, obesity, and excessive weight gain during pregnancy.

Indeed, they did not observe a higher risk of ADHD in the children of women with gestational diabetes and obesity if the amount of weight gained by these women during pregnancy was within the normal range (12.5 at 18kg)

It is important for clinicians to counsel their patients on the importance of healthy weight gain during pregnancy“, said Professor Verónica Perea, of the Hospital Universitari MutuaTerrassa in Barcelona, ​​Spain.

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