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Expectant Mothers Who Smoke Increase The Risk Of Adolescent Obesity

September 3, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Pregnant mothers who smoke cigarettes increase the risk that their children will be obese in adolescence, according to Canadian research. The researchers theorized that exposure to smoking leads to subtle structural variations in the brain that create a preference for eating fatty foods. The study focused on 378 adolescents age 13 to 19 years who were either exposed or not exposed to cigarette smoke while in the womb. “Exposed” was defined as having a mother who smoked more than one cigarette a day during the second trimester of pregnancy. “Nonexposed” children were those whose mothers did not smoke one year before – and throughout – the pregnancy.
Haghighi A et al., "Prenatal Exposure to Maternal Cigarette Smoking, Amygdala Volume, and Fat Intake in Adolescence", Archives of General Psychiatry, September 03, 2012, © American Medical Association
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