London: Pregnant women ``eating for two`` can put their babies at risk from eating disorders and a low IQ, a new research has warned.
They may also put them at risk of developing behavioural problems, eating disorders and mental health conditions such as schizophrenia.
Doctors have long known that obese pregnant women are more likely to suffer blood clots, but the long-term effects of a mother’s overeating on her child’s health are not well understood.
Now a review of existing research has found evidence that obese women or those who put on excessive amounts of weight when pregnant could be harming their children’s development, reports the Daily Mail.
Research in the U.S. found that children of obese mothers tended to have IQ scores five points lower than the results of those whose mothers were a normal weight.
Swedish studies showed children were more likely to have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder if their mothers were obese.
Meanwhile, work on Australian teenagers suggested a child’s chance of having an eating disorder increased by 11 per cent for each point their mother’s body mass index increased during pregnancy.
The researchers believe hormonal and chemical changes may explain the results.
The findings have been published in Obesity Review.