Prenatal Alcohol Exposure May Cause Obesity In Children

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Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) refer to various disabilities, and include individuals with neurocognitive impairments as well as growth irregularities ranging from deficient to standard.

However, we know little about the prevalence of excessive weight and obesity as components of FASD in the long-term. A study examining body mass index (BMI) in a large clinical sample of children with FASD has found that rates of excess weight/obesity are elevated in children with partial fetal alcohol syndrome (pFAS).

“Growth deficiency is a defining feature of FASD and typically babies and children with FASD have short stature and low weight,”

explained Jeffrey R. Wozniak, associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Minnesota, and the corresponding author for the study.

“Individuals with FAS, the most severe form of the condition, typically continue to show growth deficiency into adulthood. However, a number of FASD investigators have consistently heard from families that weight gain is a problem in adolescence and adulthood in some patients, and we thought it was important to examine this further.”

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