Obese Fathers More Likely To Have Autistic Kids

Autism 042412 04Jun12

Autism in children may be linked to obesity in the father, according to a new study from researchers at the Norwegian Institute for Public Health. For the study the researchers examined records collected as part of the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study including data from over 90,000 children at 3, 5, and 7 years.

They found that those children born to obese fathers faced a .27 increased risk of developing autism as compared to children born with normal weight fathers:

"We were very surprised by these findings because we expected that maternal obesity would be the main risk factor for the development of ASD," the researchers explained. "It means that we have had too much focus on the mother and too little on the father. This probably reflects the fact that we have given greater focus to conditions in pregnancy, such as the growth environment for the fetus in the womb, than both environmental and genetic factors before conception."

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