In the absence of any biomedical explanation for what causes autism after the telltale symptoms were first described by scientists, Bruno Bettelheim, a University of Chicago professor and child development specialist, and other leading psychoanalysts championed the notion that autism was the product of mothers who were cold, distant and rejecting, thus deprived of the chance to "bond properly". The theory was embraced by the medical establishment and went largely unchallenged into the mid-1960s, but its effects have lingered into the 21st century....As embarrassing and offensive as that sounds to us today, here comes a new way to blame mothers for autism. Ironically, it's refrigerator-related. NPR reports:
A new study in the journal Pediatrics suggests that moms who are obese or have diabetes are more likely to have a child with autism or another developmental problem....Guilt up again, mothers. It might be your fault. Maybe. Just in case...
Obesity was the most common risk factor, affecting more than 20 percent of mothers with an autistic child. Also, obesity increases the risk that a woman will have diabetes during pregnancy, and can also increase the risk for high blood pressure.
"Obesity really affects the mother's physiology aside from the fact that she's carrying around a lot of extra weight," Hertz-Picciotto says....
"We're talking about a fetal brain that could be suffering from a lack of oxygen," she says.
So it's clearly a good idea for women who are overweight or obese to try to slim down before becoming pregnant, Hertz-Picciotto says.I love how they don't really need to prove anything. Just establish a correlation, and then, why not add more pressure on women to do something we've been leaning on them to do for other reasons anyway? You already know you need to lose weight, so here's a good one: If you have an autistic child after you failed to lose weight, people will always be able to think maybe, just maybe, she did that to her child.