Is There A Link Between Obesity & Autism?

african american woman with her arm around her sonAccording to the CDC, diagnoses of autism spectrum disorders continue to rise in the United States – and there may possibly be an obesity connection.

New estimates show it affects one in 88 American children — up from one in 110 in 2009.  African American children with autism are generally one to two years older than white children before they’re diagnosed. While autism is more prevalent in white children,  the greatest rate of increase over time is among Hispanic and black children.

Related: Does Your Child Have Autism? Black Kids Less Likely To Be Diagnosed

A new study of mothers and children in California finds that kids born to obese women are more likely to be diagnosed with autism or related developmental delays than the children of slimmer moms.

The research, which was looking for effects on kids’ cognitive development from a variety of “metabolic conditions” in mom — including high blood pressure or diabetes — found the strongest links between obesity and autism-related disorders.