Study links autism in babies to obesity during pregnancy

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DENVER -- A new study finds moms who are obese may have a higher risk of having a child with autism. Researchers at the University of California looked at more than 1,000 kids and found obese moms were 1.5 times more likely to have a child with autism.

One Denver mom-to-be we spoke with makes fitness a part of her prenatal routine by attending fitness classes at Belly Bliss in Denver.

“What I’ve read about it, it says that it’s good for the baby, it’s good for the baby’s brain, it’s good for the baby’s heart, it’s good for you in lessening side effects,” said Marisssa Floyd.

Denver physician, Dr. Lee Moorer, said outside of autism there are many reasons pregnant women should stay fit.

“It can lead to issues like gestational diabetes, it can lead to large infants, pre-term infants, it can lead to complications in childbirth,” Moorer said.

For Floyd, staying fit is just the first of many things she’ll do to make sure her baby is happy and healthy.

“There are very few things that you have any control over from the beginning to the end of pregnancy, and diet and exercise are one of them, so it seems like one of the things to kind of jump on board with,” she said.

These findings are published in the journal Pediatrics. The same researchers involved in this study have also previously linked autism to poor maternal nutrition, anti-depressant use, and closely spaced pregnancies.