Obesity during Pregnancy and Children's Outcomes
Erin K. Fletcher, Lafayette College
Susan L. Averett, Lafayette College
Maternal obesity has been linked to adverse outcomes for mothers throughout pregnancy and childbirth and is a strong predictor of both infant and maternal mortality. Despite a wide array documenting these effets, the lasting effects of obesity on birth outcomes and childhood cognition has yet to be studied in depth. In this paper, we exploit the longitudinal nature of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth to examine the effect of maternal obesity on birth and early childhood outcomes. Our preliminary results show a strongly negative association between obesity and standardized test scores given to young children as well as increased risk for high birth weight.