Monday, April 23, 2012

Is Obesity During Pregnancy a Risk Factor for Autism?

It is important to preface this information by stating that although this study is very interesting, this in no way proves autism is caused by obesity, or more specifically obesity during pregnancy.  There are a number of factors that most likely contribute to autism, and this is merely one such factor.

What this study did find was that women who were obese during pregnancy were about 67 percent more likely to have autistic children than women who were considered normal-weight during pregnancy.  That is a significant development, but one which needs confirmation via additional research.  If this holds true, then this is yet another piece of the puzzle which coupled with other research can lead us towards finding the true root cause(s) of autism and hopefully (eventually) to treatment programs and even a cure.

USA Today (AP): Autism may be linked to obesity during pregnancy

Full study can be found in the Journal Pediatrics:  Maternal Metabolic Conditions and Risk for Autism and Other Neurodevelopmental Disorders

The question remains - how can antivaxxers like Lowell Hubbs spin all of this new research to shift the blame back onto the vaccines they claim cause autism?  Can they just conveniently ignore these studies?  Can they claim obesity is caused by vaccines themselves?  Will they try to pretend the increased risk from obesity is merely a trigger and that the root cause is still vaccines?

It is anyones guess, but considering how often antivaxxers confuse correlation and causation, you might think they would be quick to recognize that as the obesity epidemic in our nation has ballooned (pardon the pun) so has the autism epidemic.  Of course I am not one to draw conclusions based upon random coincidences... but then again I'm not an antivaxxer.

Perhaps this is a good time to mention that Jenny McCarthy weighed in at 211lbs during her pregnancy with her son Evan (who she claims was autistic until she magically 'cured' him).  Considering McCarthy is 5'7" and around 125lbs, a health weight range during pregnancy would have resulted in her gaining between 28 and 40lbs.  Thus, in no uncertain terms, McCarthy was clinically obese during her pregnancy as she was carrying at least 46 extra pounds on her frame.

For the record I'm not suggesting that McCarthy's weight resulted in her son being autistic, primarily because I can't be certain her son actually is (or was) autistic in the first place.  However if her son is autistic, it seems her massive weight gain during her pregnancy was likely a significant risk factor, and as such will most likely go unmentioned by McCarthy or anyone else in the anti-vaccination camp.  Why you ask?  Because antivaxxers would never be willing to accept that their actions might contribute to their children being diagnosed with autism, and instead it is much easier to just blame vaccines or drug companies or pediatricians or hospitals.  It seems it isn't really about finding a root cause... it is about finding someone else to blame. 

Sadly, this seems to be the American way as everyone claims to be a victim and they are never to blame for something that might go wrong.  If something happens to a child, the parents look around for someone to blame.  If someone gets caught driving drunk, they blame the police or the judge.  If they are arrested for theft, they blame a substance abuse issue.  If they suffer from a medical condition or have issues controlling their rage, they look to a doctor or drug company to blame, but rarely do people actually look in a mirror and accept responsibility for their own lives.

Any way you spin it, this is not a good time to be an anti-vaccinationist, and 2012 is shaping up to be one of the worst years on record for Lowell Hubbs, Jenny McCarthy, and their antivaxxer brethren.

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments are moderated and comments from obvious sockpuppet accounts as well as spam accounts that do not add anything of value to the discussion will not be published.