There’s plenty of research that shows a correlation between how much a parent tips the scales and their child’s development of a weight problem. But a new study suggests that there’s another big, fat reason to not get big and fat yourself: parental obesity could lead to developmental delays in children as well. And while studies of this sort often focus solely on pregnant women, this one looks at dad bods too.
Researchers from the National Institutes of Health obtained data from more than 5,000 families enrolled in the Upstate KIDS study, a fertility treatment experiment that tested children’s’ development 7 times, starting at 4 months of and stopping when the child turned 3. They found that kids born to obese mothers were nearly 70 percent more likely to fail fine motor skills tests. And those from obese fathers were 75 percent more likely to fail personal-social domain tests, a measure of how well kids interact with others. As for youngsters with a pair of obese parents? They were nearly 3 times more likely to fail problem-solving tests. Still hungry?
Authors of the study aren’t exactly sure why this happens. Past research shows that obesity could alter genes passed through your stout swimmers. Studies also show that prenatal obesity could cause inflammation that affects the fetal brain. Whatever the reasons, the important takeaway is that the link between obese parents and delayed kids has been confirmed. But you can work it out — much like the Beatles.