Millennial Obesity Study: Being Fat Makes Your Kids Dumb Drug Addicts

Two new medical studies have been published this week on obesity, and all kidding aside, they’re bad news. The first, published in Pediatrics, “Maternal BMI Negatively Linked to Child Cognition,” specifically used data from “the Millennium Cohort.”

For 5 and 7 year olds, a correlation was found between obese mothers and lower cognitive scores in their children. Physician’s Briefing highlighted that, "By using data from a large, contemporary national birth cohort, we found that maternal pre-pregnancy BMI is negatively associated with children's cognitive performance, even after adjusting for various socio-demographic confounders and children's BMI. The relationship appears to become stronger as the children get older."

Since socio-economic factors are controlled for, the study’s authors theorized that, “a suboptimal intrauterine environment in obesity may have direct effects on the developing fetal brain." So potentially, being overweight makes your baby dumber by damaging its brain in utero.

Another alarming study published by the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine links bad nutrition and overeating in childhood, with adult drug use. That’s right — being a fat kid could lead you to do drugs. The causality here is more behavioral and tenuous however than purely physical.

Poor habit formation and lack of impulse control could characterize a binge eater or pot smoker. Researchers found that among 16,882 boys and girls (age 9-15) who participated in the Boston Children’s Hospital study, a strong correlation existed between overeating and “the onset of marijuana and other drug use.” Depression also played a key role in the existence of both issues.

While pop-science has a tendency to cry wolf over every new journal publication —something always is or isn’t giving us cancer — this is a story we’ve heard for a while. Being overweight isn’t good for our children or us. So get with Michelle; switch to healthier substitutes; and check out some free fitness classes in your area. 

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Marni Chan

Marni has a M.A. from NYU's Arthur Carter Journalism Institute's Cultural Reporting and Criticism Program, where she studied under Susie Linfield, Katie Roiphe, and Dennis Lim. She also has a B.A. in history and politics from Pomona College. Marni has previously written for Forbes, AOL, and Conde Nast Traveler.

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